Jolo fire victims gain P3.8m in assistance from regional neighbors

JOLO, Sulu—The local government has finished paying out P1,000 to each of the 3,848 households affected by the nine-hour fire that gutted homes in the barangays of Walled City and Busbus last July 24.

Jolo Vice Mayor Abdelrazi Amin said the P3.848 million they handed out was part of the P5 million that government officials and agencies in the Davao Region 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 personally presented to Mayor Tan one million peso checks each when they visited Jolo on August 9,” Amin said.

Another P1-million check was likewise given by the Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley Provinces through Mayor Duterte, who also “emphasized the value of transparency,” the vice mayor added.

Mayor Tan received the aid on behalf of the survivors, as witnessed by Sulu Vice Governor Nurunnisah Abubakar-Tan, Amin, Jolo councilors, Datu Shahbandar Abdusakur Tan, and Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

Engineer Khalid Jaafar, Jolo Municipal Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Officer, said all households have received the aid.

Jaafar said the National Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Office sent Family Packs that were also given to 2,336 households, as they wait for the remainder of this aid.

In a separate interview, Jolo Municipal Tourism Officer Nash Abduhadi said the P1.152 million remaining from the Davao Region aid will be used for the construction of footbridges in each of the two barangays, as decided by the Mayor. 

This was after people’s consultation by the Barangay Chairmen of Walled City, Chairman Mohammad Elmor Sikandal, and Bus-bus Chairman Almaida Undug, Abduhadi said, noting it was for the “general welfare of the community.”

Houses in these areas were inundated at every high tide, Amin explained.

Councilor Charina Isahac, who was in Zamboanga for a series of events on reproductive health and gender matters, said the footbridges would benefit those whose houses were actually 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 the people themselves wanted.  Five million (pesos) could not build houses for over 3,000 families, but footbridges after each family receiving a payout of a thousand each would help,” Isahac clarified.

Topics: Jolo fire victims , fire assistance , Walled City , Busbus
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