CEBU City officials still have to determine where to source the P5-million cash advance for the fire victims of barangay Pardo as of yesterday.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said some fire victims of barangay Pardo slept on top of tombs at the Pardo Cemetery since last Friday.
He said some of them even came to him to complain about their conditions.
“I want the P10,000 individual cash assistance released ASAP,” said Rama during his noontime press conference yesterday.
The cash aid is on top of the food, clothing and building materials allocated to the affected residents.
“We will have to determine later where to charge the expense. The important thing is that we already have a cash advance for the purpose,” Rama said.
The cash assistance will also be allocated to the fire victims in barangay Suba.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWS) would be asked to come up with a guideline for the release of the financial assistance, the mayor said.
Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young said the council needs to determine where to source the appropriation for the P5-million cash advance.
He said finding funds for cash aid would test Rama’s ability to identify fund sources for city expenses.
“The mayor should know better if there is enough money or not. But these are problems that can be solved later. And for as long as we could afford it, we (at the city council) are willing to give it,” he said.
Rama said the city government is already spending a lot on food, relief goods and building materials for the fire victims.
He met with City Fire Marshal Anderson Comar to discuss a campaign to raise public consciousness on avoiding fires.
Rama asked for a Mass to be celebrated at the basilica at 5:30 p.m. yesterday to ask for divine intervention.
“The situation (occurrence of fires in the city) is no longer a joke,” he said.
The mayor also ordered for a speedy reblocking of the fire affected areas in Suba and Pardo.
Reblocking would open an access road of about 10 meters wide in urban poor communities affected by fire.
What remains of the fire site would be equally divided among the occupants for them to rebuilt their shanties in the area.
Rama said he would consider reblocking in thickly populated areas if the occupants themselves requested to make an access road available in their area. /Doris C. Bongcac, Chief of Reporters