‘Fire victims can return to lot, rebuild’

Posted on September 6, 2012

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Marilou Abella and her family take their lunch below the Marcelo Fernan bridge, where the barangay Umapad fire victims are temporarily staying. (CONTRIBUTED)

Fire victims will be allowed to rebuild their houses in the 5,000 square meter lot in sitio Kalubihan, barangay Umapad, Mandaue City.

“We can’t afford not to let them return to the lot because we don’t have a relocation area for them,” said Umapad barangay captain Nelso Rubio in Cebuano.

Rubio said the barangay had allotted P239,153 from their barangay calamity fund to pay for housing materials of the fire victims.

But before the fire victims can return to rebuild in the area, the barangay officials will have to reblock the site and meet with the fire victims before letting them return.

The barangay officials plan to put a road and fire hydrant in the area.

The Mandaue City government also declared the barangay under a state of calamity yesterday to facilitate release of calamity funds.

The city will also give P10,000 to house owners and P5,000 to house renters.

Social workers of the City Social Welfare Services listed 151 house owners and 87 house renters among the fire victims.

Rubio said the fire victims were temporarily staying at the Pajara Park under the Marcelo Fernan Bridge.

Among the fire victims are Marilou Abella, her husband and their eight children.

Abella said she only managed to save her children and two pairs of school uniforms and the school books of her children.

She said she didn’t want her two children to be sad because they couldn’t attend school.

“I remembered the uniforms of my children because they’re so enthusiastic about going to school and the books which I can pay,” Abella, 35, a housewife, told Cebu Daily News yesterday while she and her family had lunch at the Pajara Park.

Abella said she couldn’t offer her children any wealth but what she could do was to save their uniforms and books which was a big thing to her two children Kogie, 10, and Alice, 8.

Kogie, who is a Grade 1 student at the Umapad Elementary School, told CDN that he wanted to be an engineer someday.

“Gusto ko magmandar lang sa mga trabahador ug tigtaod sa semento (I’d like to supervise workers and cement laborers),” said Kogie, who wore his school uniform as he had lunch together with the family.

Abella, who came from Aloguinsan town, said the family had been living in the area for 23 years. /Jucell Marie Cuyos, Correspondent

Fire victims in barangay Umapad, Mandaue City sift through the rubble to get what they can still use in rebuilding their homes. (TONEE DESPOJO)

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