Malabon barangay under a state of calamity
Citing the magnitude of the destruction and the large number of affected families, the local government of Malabon City declared Friday a state of calamity at a fire-ravaged neighborhood, hoping to free up funds for the area’s immediate recovery.
Bong Padua, Malabon public information officer, said an emergency city council meeting was convened on Thursday night, after a five-hour blaze at Barangay Catmon razed 450 houses to the ground, displaced over 1,000 families and caused P4.5 million in damages.
“At about 9:30 p.m., the council approved the resolution declaring a state of calamity,” Padua said. “That [declaration] comes with access to a disaster fund and a calamity fund.”
In the meantime, Padua said the city government was using limited funds to provide for the needs of the displaced, whose sheer size meant they were scattered across “seven or eight evacuation centers,” including Catmon Elementary School and the village’s covered court and health centers.
“Hopefully, in a week or two weeks’ time they will be able to return,” Padua said. The city official expressed hope that the calamity fund would provide construction materials that could be used to rebuild the houses, most of which were made of light materials.
Padua also called on Good Samaritans to donate to the Command Center the city had set up near the village basketball court.
The fire, which Padua called the “biggest yet in Malabon,” may have been caused by an illegal electric jumper, but the Bureau of Fire Protection had not yet concluded its investigation.
The blaze began at the ceiling of the house on Sitio Sais, Barangay Catmon, owned by a certain Leonila Cortez at 12:58 p.m., according to Fire Officer 3 Zea Mae Clemente.
It reached the Task Force Bravo alarm before finally being put out at 6:21 p.m.
No casualties were reported, while six residents had minor injuries, including burns and chest pain, Clemente said.
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