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Cebu News

Rama orders road widening in Basak-San Nicolas sitio

Kristine B. Quintas/JMO - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has ordered the re-blocking of the fire-stricken Sitio Colo Isla Alegre in Barangay Basak-San Nicolas.

Rama said he wants the road in the area, which is only about a meter wide, to be widened up to the standard width of six meters, even more. Rama said he does not want a repeat of the situation on Monday wherein fire trucks were having a hard time responding to the fire because of the difficulty in access.

"I don't want fire to occur again within that area. Re-blocking should always be around to aid this kind of dilemma," the mayor said.

Last Monday's fire, which left 134 families homeless, destroyed 79 houses and damaged three, was placed under control at 5:39 p.m. or less than an hour after the alarm was received at 4:45 p.m.

 Yesterday, the Barangay Council placed the sitio under the state of calamity so it can utilize its P1 million calamity fund to assist the survivors.

 The incoming Barangay Captain, Norman Navarro, said the 134 displaced families or 574 individuals will be given P1,000 financial assistance and a half sack of rice.

On top of this, the city's Department of Social Welfare Services will also distribute financial assistance to the affected families.  Stall owners will receive a P10,000 while those who are renting or sharing will receive P5,000.

DSWS chief Dr. Ester Concha said relief materials like rice, canned goods, mosquito nets, pails, utensils and pots, among others, have been distributed to the victims who are temporarily sheltered at Basak Community Schools.

  "Sa pagkakaron food lang usa. Sunod na ang financial assistance and housing materials," she said.

 Julie Tayo, 65, a mother of four and househelp, has appealed for the city to help them rebuild their houses. Their two-story house that was made of light materials was burned to ashes.

 Tayo said they are just renting a 42-square meter lot at P1,200 a year. The lot where the fire broke is privately-owned.

 "TV, gamay nga sinina ug taklob sa kaldero ang among nasalbar. Ang problema namo asa mi padulong nga wa naman gyod mi nabilin," she said.

 Rama assured that the city will help the affected families start anew.

 "No one will be displaced. The residents can return to the area because fire should not be the basis of their displacement," he said.

Basak Community School principal Nelson Badana is asking that the victims be houses temporarily at the barangay's gymnasium during the day while classes are being held.

Rama, chairman of the Local School Board, said, however, that classes will be held at the gym.

"In the meantime, classes will be done at the gym because classes will only be for several hours but families will have to be attending their children for 24 hours," he said. — (FREEMAN)

BARANGAY BASAK-SAN NICOLAS BARANGAY CAPTAIN BARANGAY COUNCIL BASAK COMMUNITY SCHOOL BASAK COMMUNITY SCHOOLS CEBU CITY MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICES DR. ESTER CONCHA RAMA
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