Fire victims ask gov’t for extension
Mechelle P. Florita/NSA (The Freeman) - June 14, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Over a hundred families who are fire victims now staying at the North Reclamation Area are asking the Cebu City government for an extension after they were told transfer in Barangay Budlaan.

“Daghan pa man gani sagbot (in barangay Budlaan). Gawas pa, wala pa mi kapuy-an. Mao ni ani karon naguol mi. Mohangyo mi sa mayor nga dili usa mi karon dali-dalion pagpahawa diha kay luoy kaayo (We still have nowhere to stay. We will ask the mayor not to rush us to vacate the area because the situation is really pitiful),” said Befina Paulo, one of the occupants.

She further complained that there’s no water and electricity in Budlaan and the place is far from the city proper and from the schools where their children are studying. Should they live in Budlaan, they will have to spend at least P64 for the fare, she added.

Mayor Michael Rama, when sought for comment, said the residents cannot stay in Block 27 at NRA for as long as they want.

“They cannot have Block 27 forever. But of course, if there is a need, why not? But I need to be convinced for the extension,” said Rama, adding that he will discuss the matter with the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) and City Administrator Dr. Lucelle Mercado.

DWUP head lawyer Collin Rossell said residents at NRA have only until June 15 to stay in the area. He said their stay has supposedly ended but this has been extended over and over again.

According to Rossell, there have actually been a lot of families who have survived and are now living at the housing site in the mountain barangay.

He told the residents to stay in Budlaan for the mean time and transfer to another more convenient relocation site the city may find and possibly buy for them.

February this year, the city government handed over P5,000 to each family who were victims of the fire in sitio Warwick Barracks, Barangay Ermita last January 11.

Rossell said they will look for possible additional financial assistance to the victims.

Paulo said that currently, they are selling goods at NRA to earn money and likewise buy their needs from their own neighbors.

“Bali-bali lang ba. Wa ma’y laing tawo diha, kami ra man,” she said. — (FREEMAN)

BARANGAY BUDLAAN BARANGAY ERMITA BEFINA PAULO BUDLAAN BUT I CEBU CITY COLLIN ROSSELL DR. LUCELLE MERCADO MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA NORTH RECLAMATION AREA
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