Following barangay Quiot fire: CH wants no one displaced
May B. Miasco/ATO (The Freeman) - January 14, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Amid the ongoing conflict between the Cebu City government and the University of the Philippines-Cebu over the property in Sitio Avocado, Barangay Lahug, the former may face another challenge over the lot in Barangay Quiot Pardo, which was hit by a fire Wednesday night.

Almost a hundred houses were affected in Sitio San Isidro Labrador Wednesday night leaving 772 individuals homeless. This is less than a month since the fire in Barangay Lahug, which also left over 700 individuals without homes.

Like in Barangay Lahug, the fire-hit area in Barangay Quiot is also privately owned.  With this, acting mayor Edgardo Labella designated City Hall officials to speak with the owner of the lot, making sure that the affected residents will not be displaced.

Labella directed City Administrator Lucelle Mercado, City Attorney Jerone Castillo and Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor head, lawyer Collin Rosell, to create an Ad Hoc Committee to settle the matter amicably together with the concerned barangay officials.

“This affected property has been a subject of litigation. There was already a decision granted from the court. I believe there is a compelling need for the owners to sit down with our Ad Hoc Committee to settle the issue,” Labella told reporters yesterday.

He said there is a need to coordinate with the private owners to prevent any dispute.

“The policy of the city government is that no one should be displaced from the reason of fire… We have to settle this matter very carefully because we also have to respect private ownership and at the same time consider the plight of the fire victims,” said Labella.

Meanwhile, Senior Fire Officer 2 Lowell Opolentisima confirmed that after conducting an ocular inspection at the fire-stricken area in Barangay Quiot Pardo, only Sitio San Isidro Labrador was hit by the fire. He said the fire did not reach the nearby Sitio Sto. Niño.

Opolentisima said the fire broke out in Sitio San Isidro Labrador, spreading quickly to the nearby houses mostly made of light materials.

The initial report from Cebu City Hall’s Department of Social Welfare and Services showed that at least 97 houses were consumed, displacing a total of 197 families (or 772 individuals.)

DSWS personnel and the local disaster unit facilitated the distribution of packed meals and starter kits to the affected families.

DSWS head Dr. Ester Concha said they are still on the process of assessing the data whether these people are real victims of the fire.

Once the data is validated, the city government can already release the cash assistance to the affected families. (FREEMAN)

AD HOC COMMITTEE BARANGAY BARANGAY LAHUG BARANGAY QUIOT BARANGAY QUIOT PARDO CEBU CITY CEBU CITY HALL CITY CITY ADMINISTRATOR LUCELLE MERCADO FIRE SITIO SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR
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