Outside CICC: Fire victims allowed to build temporary homes
Liv G. Campo (The Freeman) - March 17, 2016 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Victims of the fire in Barangays Mantuyong and Guizo, Mandaue City who are currently staying at the Cebu International Convention Center have been allowed to build temporary houses outside the unused infrastructure.

According to Mandaue City spokesperson, Roger Paler, they are still developing the relocation site for the fire victims, so pending the development, the families are allowed to build temporary houses outside the CICC.

A number of evacuees have already constructed shanties using coconut lumber as foundation, bamboo strips as walling and tarpaulins as roofs.

“Among nakita nga madugay dugay pa ang reblocking...but while nagbuhat ta we make their living here as humane as possible,” said Paler, who added that the city will continue to give the fire victims free rice.

They were provided with kitchen supplies which they could use in cooking.

Paler said they will have to make four more common kitchens for the evacuees.

On the other hand, with thousands of people living at the CICC grounds, Paler said the problem on waste management is a big concern.

Each day, the evacuees accumulate four to five tons of garbage and the city has to collect the thrash thrice a day to avoid piling up.

Paler said each camp is also provided with its own garbage bin for fast collection.

Meanwhile, the demarcation of the fire-stricken area has already started early this week and once the structures that are still standing will be demolished, the entire place will be leveled.

Paler said the land filling alone will take at least a month. He said they could not yet say when exactly the victims can go back to their assigned lots.

A budget of P8.5 million for site development has already been filed for approval, said Paler.

He, however, assured that the city-owned lots will be subdivided for the affected families.

The problem, however, is that not all of the 2,362 families, left homeless by last Saturday’s fire, will be accommodated at the same area after the reblocking.

Paler said the reblocking will reduce the size of the available lots for them, as access roads will have to be built.

A huge portion of the affected area belongs to the 9.2-hectare lot of the city, while the rest is owned by private individuals. The 9.2 hectares, which belong to four barangays, including Guizo and Mantuyong, have been occupied by 1,600 landless families.

He said the city will negotiate with the owners of private lots to accommodate all 2,362 families.

Meanwhile, Mandaue City Police Office director, Senior Superintendent Jonathan Cabal, said the evacuees have been behaving well.

“Walang problema, very cooperative ang mga tao. Na-amaze ako,” Cabal said.

He said he’s seen similar situations with people getting unruly each day, but the people of Mandaue have remained composed despite what they have gone through.

At least 20 personnel from the MCPO patrol the CICC compound day and night. —(FREEMAN)

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