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MALL EMPLOYEES OUT OF WORK

In Kidapawan, businesses yet to open after quake

/ 04:18 AM October 23, 2019

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato, Philippines — Due to massive damage wrought by the 6.3-magnitude tremor on Oct. 16, this capital city of Cotabato province has been placed under a state of calamity.

Since the earthquake struck, more than 1,000 workers have been out of work as a local mall remain closed due to structural integrity issues.

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Twenty-seven business establishments in the city remained closed while repair work was being done on the structures, said Psalmer Bernalte, city disaster risk reduction and management (CDRRM) officer.

This has affected workers of Gaisano Grand Mall in Kidapawan, the biggest mall in Cotabato.

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Council resolution

During its regular session on Tuesday, the city council approved the resolution on the calamity declaration. Kidapawan is the fourth local government in Mindanao to declare a state of calamity following the quake.

Councilor Lauro Taynan Jr. said the city council allocated P1.2 million from the local disaster risk reduction and management fund to be used for extending relief assistance to affected residents.

As of Tuesday, 21 families in Sitio Agco, Barangay Ilomavis, had been staying in the evacuation center as tremors were still felt in the area.

Reopening

In Digos City, two of nine shopping malls and department stores earlier ordered closed said they would reopen this week once repairs were completed.

Wallace Lestano, a structural engineer who designed the Gaisano Mall (GMall), said the damage to the four-story building “did not compromise the integrity and stability” of the structure.

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“For two weeks or less, after the repair and rehabilitation of the the building, we will be ready to reopen the mall,” he said.

He said Gaisano Center, a subsidiary of GMall, would also be partially reopened this week.

Relief assistance

In Makilala town, the number of families affected by the quake has now reached 3,000 or 16,000 people. The residents need help in either repairing or rebuilding their houses, according to DRRM officer Sonny Fontanilla.

He said the local government had distributed food and other relief assistance to affected residents.

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TAGS: Kidapawan state of calamity, North Cotabato earthquake
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