3,848 families that survive Jolo fire get P1,000 each

Jolo Mayor Kerkhar Tan and Vice-Mayor Abdel Razi Amin present to the Provincial Peace and Order Council the updates on the fire that razed down 5200 houses of 2600 families in 13 hectares of residential area in Sulu’s capital town. The Jolo Local Government declared to town to be in a state of calamity, with more than 20% of the population affected. Bureau of Fire Protection-Jolo declared damages of immovable property to have reached P35 million pesos. Photo courtesy of Jolo Municipal Government

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/28 August) — A total of 3,848 households in Jolo, Sulu whose homes burned during the fire last month that destroyed two of the town’s highly populated communities had received P1,000 each from the five million pesos donated by the Davao Region for the fire survivors.

A nine-hour fire ate up Walled City and Busbus barangays in Jolo on July 24.

Jolo Vice Mayor Abdelrazi Amin said the amount was part of the five million pesos that the Davao Region leaders handed to Jolo Mayor Kerkhar Tan on August 9 for the fire survivors.

“Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Davao Del Norte Gov. Anthony del Rosario, and Davao Occidental Gov. Claude Bautista then personally presented to Mayor Tan a one million peso check each when they visited Jolo on August 9.  Another 1 million check was likewise given by Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley Provinces thru Mayor Duterte, who also emphasized to us the value of transparency,” Amin said in an interview.

Engr. Khalid Jaafar, Jolo Municipal Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Officer in a phone interview said that all 3,848 households already received a thousand pesos each starting last week.

In a separate interview, Jolo Municipal Tourism Officer Nash Abduhadi said the mayor decided to use the remaining amount (P1,152,000) from the P5-million donation in building footbridges in each of the two barangays.

“The decision to build footbridges was after people’s consultation by the Barangay Chairmen of Walled City, Chairman (Mohammad Elmor) Sikandal, and Busbus, Chairman Almaida Undug.  Sabi nila, after consulting their respective constituents, construction of footbridges daw ang mas nakabubuti sa majority, sa general welfare of the community,” Amin explained.

“The footbridges are important to them because those who live in coastal areas would get wet before reaching their houses during high tide, he said.

Jolo Councilor Charina Isahac, who was in Zamboanga for a series of events on reproductive health and gender matters, added that these footbridges would benefit more those whose houses that are closer to the sea.

“Residents could not rebuild their homes because the old footbridges were burned down. The footbridges served as their links, and that was what the people themselves wanted. Five million could not build houses for over three thousand families, but footbridges after each family receiving a payout of a thousand each would help,” she clarified.

Jaafar further said the National Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Office sent 2,336 family packs which were given to 2,336 households.

He said they are still waiting for the family packs for the remaining 1,512 households.  (Frencie L. Carreon, MindaNews)