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Leave lot or no aid, fire victims told

(The Freeman) - February 3, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Mandaue City government is giving fire victims in Barangay Ibabao-Estancia until today to vacate the lot where their houses used to stand, or else their financial assistance will be forfeited.

Barangay Chief Carmelino del Mar said they need to give an ultimatum to the victims since the lot’s alleged rightful owner, a certain Amigo Batillier, wants to sell the 3,000-square meter to a private manufacturing firm.

City records indicate there were 187 families affected by the fire in the area, although the fire also affected 19 families in the neighboring Barangay Guizo. In total, last Friday’s fire razed 90 houses.

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council noted that there were 116 renters or sharers in the two affected areas.

Del Mar said some 66 households in his barangay were already given P25,000 cash aid by Batillier to facilitate their relocation.

He said only 66 were given assistance because the rest did not reportedly have the owner’s permission to build a structure in his property.

On top of Batillier’s aid, the families are also set to receive another financial help from the city government.

CDRRMC head Felix Suico Jr. said each household whose house was razed will get P10,000, while each renter or sharer will receive P5,000. The funds will be sourced out from the city’s Disaster Preparedness Fund.

Del Mar said the barangay is also set to release P1,000 cash assistance to each family.

However, he said these families are still in the private property today, these benefits, including those coming from private individuals and organizations, will not be given to them.

Del Mar further said the families are given two weeks to use the barangay’s gym as their stay may potentially distract students from the nearby public school.

They should already look for their relocation as the gym is just a temporary shelter, he said.

"Sila na mangita og yuta. Sariling sikap...ang nasunog kay private lot man. It is their problem na and not the city’s," Del Mar said.

He said all the houses occupying Batillier's property have been destroyed.

To recall, the fire, which killed a six-year-old Jessa Mae Bocar, started in the house of a certain Visitacion Lacerna after a substandard ceiling fan had reportedly overheated.

Bocar’s family lived in Sitio Nangka, Barangay Ibabao-Estancia where the fire first hit. Authorities found the charred body of Bocar among the ruins of their house.

According to fire investigators, the girl’s parents were in the area when the fire broke out, but they could not provide information why the child perished while her parents were able to save themselves. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC AMIGO BATILLIER BARANGAY BARANGAY CHIEF CARMELINO BARANGAY GUIZO BARANGAY IBABAO-ESTANCIA BATILLIER BOCAR CITY DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL DEL MAR FIRE
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