Cebu City lacks housing materials for fire survivors

DUE to a series of fires in Cebu City, the City Government lacks housing materials to distribute to residents displaced by fire incidents that happened in November.

Social welfare services head Jeffrey Ibones, in a phone interview, said the fire victims in Barangays Mambaling and Basak were already given construction materials. However, the families affected by the blaze that hit Barangay San Roque have yet to receive theirs.

In the first week of November, three fire incidents occurred in the city.

The first blaze happened in Mambaling, where 118 families lost their homes last Nov. 1. It was followed by a fire in Barangay San Nicolas that displaced 38 families on the same day.

Last Nov. 3, 600 families lost their homes to a fire that struck San Roque.

According to Mary Ann Mendoza, one of the fire survivors in San Roque, her family is still waiting for housing materials and cash assistance from the City.

“What I know is that after the reblocking, we will receive the assistance,” Mendoza, 33, said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

She heard that there are houses that must be demolished before the reblocking in the area can be implemented.

Mendoza said she is hoping to receive the construction materials soon because she wants to rebuild her family’s house. She was worried that her children would get sick if they remained in the barangay’s covered court.

For his part, Ibones said they could not distribute incomplete housing materials. His office will conduct a follow-up with its suppliers in the coming days.

The affected families, he said, could not also return right away as the lot is privately owned.

In an earlier report, Mayor Edgardo Labella said “no one should be dislocated by reason of fire.” He said the owner must “resort to legal remedies” to regain possession of the property. (JCT)