Davao City council okays P45-M aid for fire victims

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/8 April) — The City Council has approved the allocation of P45 million from the city’s quick response fund for victims of a fire incident last Friday.

The council also declared Barangays 22C and 23C under a state of calamity during Tuesday’s session at the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

The amount would cover the immediate needs of those affected like food, medicine, as well as cash assistance.

However, City Administrator Melchor Quitain said it would be up to Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte how the amount would be spent.

Duterte had certified as urgent the request for the amount of P44 million to be approved by the council.

Liwayway Caligdong, assistant head of the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) said the number of families affected as of Monday, April 7, has reached 3,547.

The fire totally damaged 2,235 houses and partially damaged 44 others.

The approved amount would be taken from the city’s quick response fund, which is intended for natural and manmade calamities.

The quick response fund comprises 30% of the calamity fund, with the remaining 70% being appropriated for disaster preparedness and mitigation measures to help the city cope with calamities.

Quitain, however, said the mayor was leaving it to the council to approve the amount or not, since the total amount of the quick response fund was only P71 million.

He said the city would probably find it difficult to raise more money in case another calamity hit the city.

City accountant Rizalina Justol, meanwhile, said that while the council would not be allowed to raise the allocations from both disaster response and disaster preparedness funds, the local disaster board may recommend to the council to augment the response fund with the preparedness fund.

Caligdong said the evacuees were being housed at Barangay 22-C gym, 523 individuals); Magsaysay Park, 382; Mini Forest, 1,655; Rizal Elementary School, 316; Roxas Elementary School, 199; Quezon Elementary School, 434; and Zonta, 38.

The CSSDO report added that several organizations and individuals have helped augment the distribution of goods and non-food items by government and non-government organizations, Barangay Cultural Communities and Affairs Division, the office of Councilor Ibuyan, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, and other individuals.

The report added other donors gave partial beddings. (MindaNews)