_freeman
^

Freeman Region

Archbishop Du initiates relief aid for Tacloban fire victims

Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros - The Freeman

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Palo Archbishop John Forrosuelo Du instructed the Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Redemptorist) Parish to coordinate with Caritas Palo for assistance to be given to victims of fire that broke out on New Year’s Day in this city.

Father Constantino Puzon, Redemptorist’s parochial vicar, told The Freeman the archbishop personally came to the St. Gerard Pastoral Center, where most of the victims had evacuated. “The presence of the archbishop uplifted the spirit of the fire victims,” said Puzon.

The fire, which residents said started about 12:05 a.m. on New Year’s Day, at the precise moment of revelries, happened in the densely populated Barangay 56 in Pericohon district of Tacloban.

At least 69 houses were razed to the ground and around 97 families were left homeless, pushing them to seek refuge at the nearby Redemptorist Church, while others went to the Tacloban City Astrodome, about three kilometers from the scene.

Barangay 56 was among the coastal villages flooded by the storm surge during super typhoon Yolanda in 2013 and badly hit by typhoon Ruby in 2014. Huge fire also occurred in the same area on Election Day in 2013 and before the city fiesta in 2014.

Puzon said the Redemptorist’s parish opened the doors of its St. Gerard Pastoral Center to the evacuees immediately for their temporary refuge and requested them to return to their homes by afternoon of January 3.

While civic organizations and politicians provided foods, toiletries and used clothings to the victims, the OLPHP distributed cooking utensils, basins and pails. Parish workers and catechists also led nightly prayer of the Holy Rosary with the evacuees, said Puzon, adding that the Sto. Niño Parish and San Jose Parish also gave meals and relief goods to the victims.

Arsenia Solayao, one of the fire victims, expressed gratitude for the visit of Archbishop Du and the help that they received from different parishes, organizations and individuals. “Even if our New Year was not so happy, the good thing is there are individuals who are constantly helping us,” she said.

Meantime, Pericohon residents blamed that lack of fire hydrant in the area contributed to the spread of the fire. Ian Deriada, a resident who is also an officer of JCI Tacloban that distributed relief goods to the victims on January 1 and 2, said, “It is about time that the city government considers putting up a hydrant in our barangay.”

Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin, said:  “High-density residential areas should have functioning fire hydrants.”

As of yesterday, the Bureau of Fire Protection has yet to disclose its findings on the investigation conducted into the real cause of the fire. Victims’ account said a lighted firecracker (kwitis) hit a clothesline at the second floor of a house made of light materials, and triggered the conflagration. (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ARCHBISHOP DU ARSENIA SOLAYAO BUREAU OF FIRE PROTECTION CARITAS PALO ELECTION DAY FIRE NEW YEAR PUZON ST. GERARD PASTORAL CENTER VICTIMS
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with