At least 280 households displaced by Sunday’s fire that razed portions of the coastal village of Bagong Silang have appealed to the City government for temporary relocation.
Most of the affected families have been staying in an open basketball court and a small chapel with no provision for water. The residents have put up tents and makeshift shelters made of cardboard and light materials.
Barangay secretary Roy Bautista said a total of 340 houses had been burned or damaged by the fire, and 1,555 individuals are staying in their evacuation area.
Food are rationed by the barangay and drinking water is sourced from a nearby faucet.
“Hindi namin alam kung malinis ‘yun na pwedeng inumin. Basta kami, uminom na lang dun dahil sa sobrang init at uhaw,” said one resident, who asked not to be identified.
The fire victims also complained about the absence of toilet facilities for the residents and expressed concern about the possible spread of diseases in the evacuation areas.
“Yung iba sa amin, bumabalik-balik sa nasunog namin lugar, doon sa may dagat at doon kami dumudumi. Kasi po halos puno na dito,” said one fire victim.
Many fire victims asked for clothing donations as most of them failed to save their belongings during the fire.
Abna Juhan, a mother with a 3-month old child, said that even her child has no clothes to wear which forced her to ask for clothes from other people she knows.
“Yung mga suot po namin, pinanghingi lang namin. Kinapalan ko na po ang mukha ko na manghingi sa mga ukay-ukay kasi wala talaga kaming pamalit. ‘Yung mga anak namin mga wala na halos maisuot. Sana naman may maawang mgbigay ng masusuot sa mga bata namin,” said Juhan.
Bgy. Chairman Reynaldo Taneo said that the barangay and city government are planning to transfer the fire victims in an area that could accommodate 280 households.
“Siguro sa mga susunod na araw, malalaman na namin ang paglilipatan sa kanila,” said barangay chairman Taneo.
City Administrator Arnel Pedrosa said they have identified an area in Barangay Mangingisda as a relocation site. Most residents however were hesitant to leave, including the Badjao families who were living in houses built over the water.
The food rationed to affected residents is composed of sardines, instant noodles and cooked rice from the city government.
Authorities appealed for donations in the form of clothes, slippers, and hygiene packs for women.
Benedict Basaya, a nurse at the City Health Office, said they are attending to wounded fire victims and those suffering from coughs and colds.
“Mas mahihirapan pa tayo kung lumala o magkaroon ng outbreak o magkahawa-hawa,” Basaya said.