KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 21 Nov) – The city government released over the weekend P1.3 million in financial assistance to traders who were affected by a huge fire that hit a portion of the city’s main public market last month.
Cyrus Urbano, city administrator, said some 322 market stall owners and vendors have qualified for the cash assistance, which was drawn from the local government’s disaster response funds.
He said the beneficiaries received from P1,000 to P5,000, depending on their occupancy classification.
Citing their records, he said a total of 246 stall owners received cash assistance of P5,000, 51 occupying the market’s Masagana section got P3,000 and 25 “laray” or sidewalk vendors received P1,000 each.
The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) earlier approved a funding of P1.6 million to assist victims of the Oct. 10 fire that hit the right wing section of the public market.
But Urbano said the released assistance only reached P1.3 million after they sorted the beneficiaries based on their occupancy classification.
Prior to the release of the cash assistance, he said the beneficiaries were required to attend an orientation seminar on fire prevention handled by Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) personnel.
“This is to refresh and educate them about ways and means on how to protect their properties and prevent the occurrence of similar incidents,” he said in a statement.
About half of the nearly one-hectare public market was destroyed in the fire that erupted shortly before 9 p.m. on Oct. 10.
The BFP said faulty electrical wiring could have caused the fire but witnesses said it started in a stall that sells butane cylinders and other flammable items.
Urbano said the city government has started preparations for the renovation of the burned section at the second level of the market’s building along Alunan Avenue.
He said the BFP has issued a clearance for the renovation and reconstruction works at the market building.
The official said the rebuilding at the center portion of the market or the main area of the fire remains pending as the BFP central office has yet to issue its clearance. (MindaNews)