Boracay fire leads to land, home ownership checks by town
ILOILO CITY—Occupants of houses that were destroyed in last week’s massive fire in Boracay island need to show proof of land ownership before they are allowed to return to the sites of their homes, according to an official of the town that has jurisdiction over the island resort.
Jupiter Gallenero, councilor of Malay town, said the return of residents to the burned area would be restricted.
He said officials also have to inspect houses that were left standing for “structural integrity” before allowing these to be occupied again.
More than 100 mostly boarding houses and Boracay’s wet market were destroyed in the fire in the village of Manoc-Manoc.
Bureau of Fire Protection officials earlier said the fire spread and was difficult to put out because only one road led to the hilly area. The houses were also built too close to each other.
Gallanero, chair of the council’s committees on tourism and on land use, said a temporary site for the wet market would be set aside on a private lot in a community called Kipot in Manoc-Manoc.
He said the owner of the lot, which measures about 1,500 square meters, has allowed the free use of the land for three months. At least 95 stalls of fish, meat and vegetable vendors would be transferred there.
The ownership of the three-hectare area where the fire occurred is being disputed by several private claimants.
Any rebuilding of structures in the area would be strictly guided by fire and building regulations, according to Gallanero.
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