Gatchalian urges measures vs disastrous fires

CEBU CITY – The government has to come up with measures that would prevent disastrous fire incidents from happening, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said on Friday, Dec. 2.

SEN. Sherwin Gatchalian visits Barangay Looc, Mandaue City on Friday, Dec. 2, where at least 250 houses were destroyed in a fire last Nov. 22. (Photo via Calvin Cordova)

Gatchalian visited Barangay Looc, Mandaue City where at least 250 houses were razed by a fire last Nov. 22.

The fire that displaced at least 600 families spread quickly as the houses that stood on stilts on the shore of Sitio Paradise were built close to each other.

Gatchalian said the area is considered a danger zone as the houses will easily be gobbled by fire because they are close together.

One way of preventing destructive fires is to provide a housing program, he said.

“Most of the big fires are happening in places like this. What we should consider is to provide a permanent housing program for those who are living in danger zone,” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian said the fire victims may be able to rebuild their houses in the area but the threat will remain.

He said an inventory of the number of people living in danger zones should be conducted before the government can provide a housing program.

“There should be a housing program whether in the city or out of the city but what’s important is we should know first the figures,” Gatchalian said.

After visiting the fire scene, Gatchalian had a dialog with the fire victims in a covered gym.

He turned over sacks of rice and other food packs to the fire victims.

“We are here to check on your situation. We will look into this incident to prevent this from happening again not just in Mandaue but in the whole country,” Gatchalian told the fire victims.

“Aside from inspecting the area, we also brought some help for you. Don’t lose hope, we can all recover from this and I assure you that we will be here to help,” Gatchalian added.