No immediate resettlement yet for Davao fire victims

By Edith Regalado, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 13 2014 09:23 AM | Updated as of Apr 13 2014 05:23 PM

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The more than 3,000 families displaced by the April 4 fire that struck three barangays in Isla Verde here have to wait for some time to be resettled.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte ordered that the actual lot occupants be identified and roads constructed in the area first before any resettlement can be made.

Duterte said the city government must first impose order in the area before the settlers can return and build their structures again.

He also ordered round-the-clock security to prevent clashes among the residents who might fight for space.

The city engineer’s office has also been directed to barricade the fire-razed area, covering a total of seven hectares, to prevent the entry of outsiders.

The city council has allotted P45-million aid for the victims of the seven-hour fire that gutted more than 2,235 houses in the three coastal barangays.

The city council also placed two of the barangays – 22-C and 23-C – under a state of calamity, although residents of the third barangay – 21-C – would still receive assistance from the city government.

Duterte said the City Social Services and Development Office is now validating the list of victims who would receive assistance.

At least 3,024 families were affected in Barangay 23-C, and 523 families in Barangay 22-C.

The P45-million aid will be taken from the quick response fund, a component of the city’s calamity fund.

The fire victims are now temporarily housed in three evacuation centers.

Duterte signed Executive Order 18 creating Task Force Isla Verde aimed at restoring order in the area.

Duterte himself chairs the task force, with retired Gen. Francisco Villaroman as his vice chairman.

So far, the task force has fenced off the affected area so the delineation of spaces for roads, drainage, and buffer zones could start.