ILIGAN CITY, —The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWD) through City Welfare Officer Grace Joy Saquilabon received five boxes containing assorted clothing sent from the central office of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
PIA personnel willingly gathered the assorted clothing collected which were contained in boxes for shipment to Iligan.
Director General Harold E. Clavite of PIA said, “This support we are sending in time of need was initiated by our own employees. Our personnel from the central office and regional centers have been sending in-kind support to Marawi IDPs and, now, for this fire incident in Iligan.
We hope this will serve as an inspiration to more public servants. As we do our work we must always extend our service outside the wall of our office, added Clavite.
The fire occurred on 29 May 2019 with 194 families affected from Purok Matinabangon and Silangan, Barangay Ubaldo Laya, Iligan City, to 736 dependents homeless.
Totally damaged houses were 96 while seven are partially damaged.
Saquilabon said that affected families are now temporarily sheltered at the barangay’s covered court, nevertheless, the local government of Iligan is doing the necessary steps to address the immediate needs of these families, either food and non-food.
Our local government provided three communal portable toilets, sanitation kits, kitchen utensils and dry ration of food, added Saquilabon.
CSWD through the Community Affairs Office established a ‘Community Kitchen’ to cook dishes for families at the evacuation center.
On the other hand, 27-year-old Marites R. Baliquig is worried about how to recover from the damage that the fire has caused her family.
Baliquig expressed, “I am thankful for the donors and to our city government for taking care of our needs, but neither of us here would want to be dependent on these provisions for long. All I could think of are my kids., how will we ever take back what we’ve lost? I’m a market vendor, where would I get my capital for a new start?”
Meanwhile, according to CSWD’s record, four persons were injured, all are now in Gregorio T Lluch Memorial Hospital for medication and one body recovered dead on-the-spot.
City Fire Marshall, CINSP Butch B Baulete said, ”We raised task force ALPHA to contain the fire immediately. Fifteen fire trucks responded to our call including trucks from nearby municipalities.”
One of the concerns that we usually encounter during a fire is the people surrounding the fire scene. The area is congested, fire trucks cannot enter, and we’ve exhausted all our hose lines, this should be the moment that people in the area should also step up and help us, but some did not,” stressed Baulete.
Instead of carrying buckets full of water and help us contain the fire, they keep busy shooting through their phones for Facebook live, which is not helping the situation at all. The ‘bayanihan’ system is not working anymore,” he remarked.
Iligan’s Bureau of Fire Protection was still on the investigation phase as to what, when and in whose household did the tragic fire started.
However tough the situation is, fire-affected individuals strive to move on with their lives with what little was left of them. (clviajante, GIC Iligan City)
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