Relocation site offered to fire victims

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

BACOLOD City Mayor Monico Puentevella said on Tuesday that residents of Purok Masinadyahon, Barangay 10 who lost their houses to a fire on Monday can avail of relocation assistance from the City Government.

They can transfer to “Purok MKK” at the Abada-Escay property in Barangay Vista Alegre, he said.

Puentevella, who visited the affected residents at an evacuation area inside the Bays Center, said he cannot assure the 87 affected families that they can still return to their place of residence because the property belongs to private owners.


“We can be a referee, but the decision will still depend on the private owners,” he said.

The fire victims, temporarily sheltered at the Bays Center situated near their barangay, are being provided with relief assistance by the city, non-government organizations, religious organizations, and business groups.

Other affected families are staying with their relatives.

Acting City Social Services and Development head Pacita Tero on Tuesday said about 87 families have been affected by the fire or a total of 352 individuals, including 10 sharers and 16 renters.

Tero said 58 houses were destroyed while three were damaged by the fire that lasted for almost two hours Monday morning.

She added that they will recommend that residents whose houses were destroyed will be provided financial assistance of P5,000 per family and those whose houses were damaged will receive P3,000. The nine affected boarders will receive P1,000 each.

Tero said they will also recommend that the fire victims be provided a relocation site because the property where their houses once stood was already bought by private individuals.

They will try to negotiate with the lot owners to allow the affected families to return to the area, she said, but if it will not happen, the Department of Social Services and Development will request that they be provided a relocation site.

Tero said the Department of Social Welfare and Development also has a shelter assistance program for victims of calamities.

It has available funds which the city can avail of if it has a relocation site, she said.

Barangay 10 village chief Dexter Yap said the owners of the property have asked permission from the village to start fencing off their property but he did not allow it.

“I requested the fire victims to hold a dialog with the mayor about their predicament and I also suggested that they be relocated to the Arao relocation site,” he added.

Yap said a portion of the property is owned by Boy Montalbo, while Lots 3 and 4 are owned by Julius Esmeralda and Rommel Agupitan, respectively.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 19, 2014.

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