Evacuees given until May 15 to vacate schools

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Monday, May 5, 2014

THE Davao City Government is bracing for chaos as it prepares for the pullout of fire victims from the elementary schools, which have housed them, since the fire engulfed their homes last April 4.

The evacuees have to be pulled out as soon as possible because school administrations will be preparing for the Brigada Eswela on May 19 to 24.

City administrator lawyer Melchor Quitain said the fire victims may now go back to where their houses were built before a massive fire engulfed Barangays 23-C, 22-C, and 21-C.


He said all the evacuees must vacate the schools by May 15.

“They should already be out of the schools. They might be able to start rebuilding their homes sa area na mismo,” Quitain said.

He said the Task Force Isla Verde, through the City Social Services and Development Office, will finalize everything tomorrow, May 7.

“They will choose which evacuees from each evacuation center shall be the first to transfer to which part of the area. Otherwise, magkagulo yan eh. Baka sabihin, bakit sila lang? Paano kami?” Quitain said.

The earlier plan to put up a tent city at the Sta. Ana Pier now only caters to the Badjao villagers who were first housed at the Magsaysay Park, while the rest of the victims stayed inside the schools.

City Information Office OIC Leo Villareal said the fire victims who are temporarily sheltered at Quezon Elememtray School, Rizal Elementary School, Garcia Elementary School, and Roxas Elementary School will be prioritized to rebuild their houses in the area.

“Sila ang unahon kay mag Brigada na,” he said.

He also said that the school management is complaining to the City Government of Davao since the evacuees are allegedly misusing the textbooks.

"Ginagamit sad nila pansugnod ang mga pages sa libro (The pages are used as tinders)," he said. Others are used as pillows.

Last Saturday, three classrooms were burned at the Rizal Elementary School where evacuees were staying.

Records of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) showed that the fire happened at 7:20 p.m. of May 3, Saturday.

According to the City Social Services and Development Office, some 300 food packs, with estimated cost of P1 million, and the official masterlist were razed.

The DCPO record also stated that the cause of fire is electrical overload.

Quitain said the city is still offering victims two housing packages to choose from: Isla Verde Building Back Package or the Los Amigos Relocation Package.

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 Isla Verde to identify road networks and set up foot bridges and integrate drainage plan.

Some 3,110 families in three barangays were affected from the five-hour fire that hit evening of April 4.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 06, 2014.

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