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Cebu News

Fire victims skip mass, preparing binignit

Mechelle P. Florita, RHM - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - It is Filipino tradition to cook special food and to attend mass during Holy Week; but hard up Lorega-San Miguel, Cebu City fire victims were not able to do either because of their situation.

“Wala gyud, naa ra mi diri, wala mi kapanimba. Lisod man gud biyaan diri nga wala pa gyud matarong among balay, wala pay sira, kawatan pa lang. Balik gyud mi sugod (We just stayed, we did not attend mass.  It is difficult to leave our makeshift homes, thieves might strike while we are away),” said Amanda Sabuero.

It has been more than a month since a huge blaze hit the barangay last March 18 and leave more than 5,000 individuals homeless.

Eduardo Paul, 49, and his family likewise also did not go to church for the same reason Sabuero cited.

“Nag-ampo na lang mi diri nga adunay miy maayong panglawas (We just prayed inside our house for good health),” he said. A carpenter, Paul has stopped earning a living because he is prioritizing the construction of a new structure to serve as their temporary home.

Most of the fire victims who were earlier moved to four evacuation centers are now back in Lorega and are slowly starting to rebuild new homes from construction materials given by the Cebu City Government.

Sabuero said they did not cook the traditional “binignit” and “biko” because “kuwang pa man gani para palit og kahoy (we do not even have enough money to buy wood for the house).”

Among the over 500 families who are lot owners in the said barangay, more than 400 already received construction materials from the city, particularly plywood and galvanized iron sheets. Most of the fire victims are using tarpaulins as roofing.

Also, each of those whose houses were destroyed also received P10,000 in cash assistance, while those whose houses were damaged got P5,000 each.

Dr. Ester Concha, city Department of Social Welfare and Services chief, said that renters have to find another house they could lease. (FREEMAN)

AMANDA SABUERO BALIK CEBU CITY CEBU CITY GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND SERVICES DR. ESTER CONCHA EDUARDO PAUL HOLY WEEK LOREGA-SAN MIGUEL SABUERO
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