Landslide evacuees wait for green light to go home

By Lesley Caminade-Vestil

NAGA CITY, Cebu – Officials of the city government of Naga are prepared to submit themselves to a Senate in­quiry concerning the deadly landslide that claimed 78 lives.

In an interview Tuesday, Naga Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong said she is willing to answer all questions concerning the September 20 tragedy.

Chiong believes a Senate inquiry will provide her and other city officials the proper avenue to air their side.

The city government is still waiting for feedback from geological experts from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to de­termine if some areas near the landslide area in Sitio Barangay Tina-an will no longer be allowed for habitation.

With no clear assessment yet, the city is concerned for the welfare of more than 1,600 landslide-hit families that are still staying at 13 evacuation centers.

Chiong said she visited the centers to ask the evacuees for more patience while waiting for DENR’s all-signal for them to return home.

She added that temporary shelters were being built for affected residents.

In a related development, Chiong has submitted her certificate of can­didacy for vice mayor. She will be the running mate of her father, former Naga mayor Valdemar Chiong.