Gwen blames Davide for fire victims’ plight

By Doris C. Bongcac, Nestle L. Semilla |March 13,2016 - 10:08 PM
Fire victims took shelter inside the dilapadated CICC while waiting for their name be listed in th date of Mandaue City Social Welfare and Service. Some resident wanted to stay inside but the city government will not allowed them as the building is not fit for occupancy. (CDN PHOTO/NESTLE SEMILLA)

Fire victims enter the CICC building, waiting for their turn to register with the Mandaue City Social Welfare and Service, so they can be given tents. (CDN PHOTO/NESTLE SEMILLA)

The Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) could have provided temporary shelter to over two thousand families who lost their homes to a recent fire in Mandaue City had Gov. Hilario Davide III allowed its repair.

The CICC cost the government more than 800 million pesos to build but was severely damaged by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake in October 2015 and Supertyphoon Yolanda the next month. It was then declared unsafe for occupancy.

Since then, the edifice has remained in disrepair.

“Karon (Now), in a more tragic way, underlines further how Davide’s sinful and tragic neglect has affected the lives of the Cebuanos,” said Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia (Cebu 3rd district) to Cebu Daily News.

CDN sent a text message to Gov. Davide asking for his comment but he did not reply.

More than 11,000 people sought temporary shelter at the CICC grounds after a fire ravaged their homes in Barangay Mantuyong and Barangay Guiso.

The provincial government allowed the use of the CICC grounds as temporary evacuation center but the victims were not allowed to enter the CICC.

“(Kuyaw na sa sulod. Dili na lig-on) It is not safe inside. (Naa nay ni-collapse nga ceiling ug walls. (Some ceilings and walls have collapsed.) Dili na lang nato pasudlan (We will not let them enter the building) for the safety of the children,” said Vice Governor Agnes Magpale.

She, however added that should the need arise, the fire victims may be allowed to enter the building.

“Nag-estorya nami sa ( I talked to the PDRRMO (Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office) nga kung kinahanglan kaayo pasudlon, i-control lang (that if it is necessary, they can be allowed to enter but this should be controlled.) Ang worry namo is ang mga bata basin mosaka (We worry about the kids who might go up.) But there is still room there, in the hall that still looks stable,” Magpale added.

Capitol Information Officer Ethel Natera said Davide allowed fire victims to use the CICC grounds to make sure that they have a place to stay.

Tents have been set up in the area since Saturday while additional tents from the provincial government were added on Sunday.

Garcia said the families would have been more comfortable if they were made to stay inside the building.

Engineers from Mandaue City and the province have estimated the repair of the CICC to cost at least P296 million.

Since he took office in July 2013, Davide has made it a policy not to spend a single centavo for the repair of the building which he considers to be a “monument of corruption.”

But Garcia said had the CICC been repaired, Cebu would not have lost several opportunities to host last year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetings,  the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) last January and several other international events.

She said that aside from millions in revenues which Cebu could have earned from the hosting of these international events, the provincial government also lost exposure opportunities.

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