FIFTY-NINE families in Zone Patatas, Barangay Paknaan and 17 families in Sitio Kimwa Latasan, Barangay Labogon, both in Mandaue City, were displaced by fire on Friday night, Oct. 9, 2020.
According to Bernard Batnag Jr., fire marshal of the Mandaue City Fire Station, the fire started at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the house owned by Regan Sacay. The house is located on the border of the two barangays.
Damage was estimated at P220,000.
Batnag said they are still investigating the cause of the blaze.
Labogon Barangay Captain Malaquias Soco said 36 of the 59 affected families were evacuated to the Paknaan Elementary School. The others are staying with relatives.
He said minimum health standards are being observed in the evacuation area.
Since offices are closed during the weekend, Soco said the barangay can’t declare a state of calamity in the area until Monday, Oct. 12. After that, they will be able to use Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office funds to help survivors, he said.
He said the houses in Zone Patatas are close to each other and are mostly made of light materials.
Labogon Barangay Captain Amado Manatad, for his part, said the 17 affected families were brought to the Labogon National High School, where they each occupy one classroom.
The school gym was used as the receiving area manned by barangay staff and personnel of the City Social Welfare and Services (CSWS).
Manatad said the gym is also where survivors are being validated, hot meals and assistance are distributed and donations are received.
Manatad said they also plan to declare a state of calamity in the area on Monday.
Dr. Maricel Yu, CSWS head, said that some survivors have not left the fire scene to guard their lots.
Yu assured them that they can return to the area since it is owned by the government.
She said the survivors will soon receive financial assistance from the government. Renters and owners of damaged houses will get P5,000. Owners and those whose homes were destroyed will get P10,000.
Among those affected by the fire are 15 elementary and high school students, said Nimfa Bongo, the Department of Education Mandaue Division superintendent.
SunStar Cebu also received a text message from Mary Jean Codiñera, Paknaan Elementary School principal, that 11 of their students were affected by the fire.
Their Week 2 modules were burned along with their houses, Codiñera said. However, since they’re currently staying in the school, new modules will soon be distributed to them. (KFD)