2 housing options up for fire victims

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Monday, April 21, 2014

A DAVAO City Government official said Monday that

THE 3,116 families affected by fire in three barangays have two housing packages to choose from: Isla Verde Building Back Package or the Los Amigos Relocation Package, said an official of the City Government.

Residents who are temporarily staying in eight identified evacuation centers, including some 200 families of Badjaos in Magsaysay Park, will also be transferred to an open space near the Task Force Davao headquarters in Sta. Ana Wharf before April ends.


"Nag-reklamo na ang mga schools, labi na ang affected ani ang mga kinder, ang problema ani sa facilities, sa management, naay mag-inom, manigarilyo, labi na kay ang school opening hapit na (Among other reasons cited by the schools are the liquor drinking and cigarette smoking by some victims and that school opening is fast approaching)," Leo Villareal, head of the City Information Office said on Monday.

Villareal, who is also the Task Force Isla Verde spokesperson, said the two-option implementation plan provided for will give the affected residents a choice on how they want to rebuild their homes.

But these cannot be done immediately and affected residents are encouraged to rent some temporary home while government works on the development of the two sites.

Families who will avail of their own areas in the relocation sites are advised to complete the validation process and go to the barangay captains and the leader of each groups, stated City Information Office's Leo Villareal.

"Naa nay validation. Ang gihimo diay karon sa validation is, muadto sa mga kapitan, atong gi-request pud ang presence sa Ulama, sa Alim (One must proceed to the barangay chief with the presence of the Ulama and Alim)," Villareal said.

The Tugbok relocation site is but an option the victims can take, but the primary concern is to bring some order in the subdivision of the affected area.

Definitely, the Badjao families will be returned to Isla Verde and not be made to move to Los Amigos.

"Ang policy statement jud ni Mayor nga ibalik jud sila didto because of the four elements. Unang-una ilahang kultura, tradisyon, characteristics ug mentalities. Kadtong mga Badjaos, ibalik na sila didto (Mayor wants to bring them back due to four elements: culture, tradition, characteristics and mentalities. The Badjaos will be returned)," he ended.

Under the Los Amigos Relocation Package, the city will review the existing housing plans of Los Amigos Relocation Site, firm up the site by blocking, sectioning and allocating areas, as well as conducting inventory and validation for interested residents.

The Isla Verde Building Back Package will entail the rehabilitation and introduction of development in the 8.8-hectare-wide fire-affected area subject to the existing National and Local Policies and observe the principle on Building Back Better Lives.

Under this term, the city will fence off the entire area of the Isla Verde to identify road networks and set up foot bridges and integrate drainage plan.

Residents will be provided with five months of free stay at a tent city to be set up at the Sta. Ana Pier by the end of this month, just to allow them some leeway in household expense before they will have to find temporary housing arrangements on their own.

The tent city will be for those temporarily staying in eight evacuation centers including the 200 Badjao families staying at the Magsaysay Park.

“They will be staying there for a span of five months,” he said. “After that, they shall have been provided with their allocated lots either on site at Isla Verde or Los Amigos Relocation Site.”

But, just in case the fixing up of the sites will take more than five months, then the victims will have to be on their own until the sites are ready for moving in.

At the moment, food is being provided for the victims and their stocks will go for another three weeks.

He added that there are security, as well as management groups, and command centers for safety measures.

"Karon, ang ato mga evacuation centers gibutangan na ug house rules (Our evacuation centers now have house rules)," he said.

Villareal also assured that the financial aid and social services of the City to the affected residents will continue until everything will be in placed. (Arianne Caryl N. Casas with Pamela Jay Fuentes Orias and Vaneza M. Kimilat, MSU-Marawi interns)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 22, 2014.

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