- MITCH M. LIPA
Eight families, whose houses were destroyed when fire broke out on May 7 in Barangay 12, Bacolod City, will receive P10,000 each, while three families with damaged houses will get P5,000, and P3,000 for the four sharers or house renters.
Department of Social Services and Development head Pacita Tero said their office will finish the processing and release a total amount of P107,000 this afternoon or tomorrow.
Eleven houses were gutted by the fire near the Bacolod San Sebastian Cathedral on Friday morning.
A Bureau of Fire Protection investigation showed that the fire started in the house where children were seen playing with a lighter. Their parents went to work and left the kids with their 16-year-old cousin, the BFP said.
Barangay 12 officials, headed by Barangay Captain Ely Alcantara proceeded to the area and assessed the damage. Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran asked the DSSD to immediately send food assistance and other necessities to the fire victims.
On Saturday, Abang Lingkod Partylist Rep. Stephen Paduano visited the barangay along with Javier Benitez, son of former Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez.
Pictures of the young Benitez giving financial assistance and talking to the fire victims were posted on the Facebook account of former Negros Occidental 3rd District Board Member Patrick Lacson.
Meanwhile, Tero said that aside from food assistance, the city also provided non-food items, like kitchen utensils and beddings, especially for those who opted to stay with their relatives in the same purok and not in the evacuation center.
The office of Congressman Greg Gasataya is waiting for the final list of the fire victims from the DSSD, and will also give financial assistance. – MML