Fire victims near river cannot return to area

Jolissa Mae C. Taboada

FIRE victims in Barangay Tabok, Mandaue City, whose houses are within three-meter easement of the Butuanon River will no longer be allowed to return to the area.

Mandaue City Jonas Cortes announced this in a press conference the day of the fire last Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. Residents near the river will be relocated after the Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine found water samples from Butuanon River positive for poliovirus.

Tabok Barangay Captain Dario Tarriman said he will coordinate with city officials for the temporary relocation site of the affected residents.

Of the 881 residents in Mandaue City who are subject for relocation, 28 houses in Barangay Tabok are within the three-meter easement and some of these houses were gutted in last Monday’s fire.

At least 269 families or 950 individuals were affected by the fire in Barangay Tabok.

“Makabalik ra sila kay murag nag-abang pa man sila ug yuta. Ang portion siguro nga di kabalik katong naigo sa three-meter easement sa Butuanon River,” Tarriman said. (They will still be able to go back to their homes since they are renting the lot. The ones who could no longer return to their homes are those who are within the three-meter easement of the Butuanon River.)

He added that the Cebu Provincial Government has already given the fire victims a small sack of rice per family and some utensils.

Tarriman said there is a possibility that fire victims whose houses are not within the three-meter easement of the Butuanon River will stay at the Tabok Gym only until Feb. 20 and then return to their respective homes.