Mayor to consult Red Cross on evacuees’ needs

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Friday, January 24, 2014

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama wants to sit down with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to discuss the appeal of some evacuees from Eastern Visayas that they be allowed to stay here for good.

Some Yolanda survivors from Samar and Leyte are staying in tents at the South Road Properties (SRP).

Rama said that it would be better for City Hall and PRC to tackle the evacuees’ concerns together as it was the Red Cross that established the tent city of the Family Rebuilding Center at SRP.


The mayor said he cannot immediately decide on the request of the evacuees as the City Government also has to attend to the needs of its constituents.

“Cebu City is a compassionate city. We were just there to respond to the call and to help,” said Rama. “(But) they (evacuees) need to understand that the mayor has to address other problems too. Lisod kaayo nga balayan nato og una atong mga bisita (It would be difficult to give our visitors priority in our housing program).”

He said the City has to prioritize the concerns of its residents, adding that many City Hall employees don’t have houses.

The City Government also has to address the resettlement of illegal settlers, he noted.

The mayor said he is afraid that if the evacuees are allowed to live in the city permanently, other survivors would follow.

“Tendency ana, mangabot silang tanan dinhi sa syudad,” said Rama.

He said he told the evacuees upon their arrival that their stay in the city is only temporary, or until the rehabilitation of their hometowns has been completed.

“What we can provide is just temporary shelter for them while the rebuilding of their houses is ongoing,” the mayor said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 24, 2014.

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