Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Wednesday ordered the clearing of remaining evacuees at the two evacuation centers in Tondo to give way to the needed repairs and cleanup of the city-owned facilities.
Estrada assured that the 182 “overstaying” families at Delpan Sports Complex and the adjacent evacuation center were given ample support and assistance before they were politely asked to leave.
“We could have let them stay at the evacuation centers indefinitely but those facilities need immediate repairs and cleanup. And besides, we have to ready it for future emergency use,” Estrada said.
Estrada has tasked the Manila Department of Social Welfare led by Nanet Tanyag to oversee the clearing of the facilities and ensure that each relocated family receives adequate assistance.
Tanyag said the 182 families composed of close to 1,000 individuals were among the 2,100 families who lost their homes in a huge fire at Parola Compound on February 7.
“They have no place to return to since the houses they were renting were destroyed,” Tanyag said.
She said their previous landlords probably have opted not to lease out their properties again.
Most of the hundreds of fire victims have received P20 million worth of construction materials donated by Estrada last March to repair their damaged houses, while the rest have transferred residence to other places, Tanyag said.
Each family received eight pieces of iron sheets, 23 pieces of lumber, five pieces of plywood, and assorted nails, all brand new.
Based on their inspection of the two facilities, the plumbing and electrical systems badly need fixing, same with the sanitary amenities such as the toilets.
“Before our city engineers could do that, we must clear out those two facilities,” she pointed out.
Tanyag said the repair works are important for emergency use of the facilities in the future. No deadline has been given to clear out the facilities, she stressed.
Tanyag said it was Estrada’s strict instructions not to use force to remove the evacuees who have since received various aid from the city government during their prolonged stay.
The affected families were given several options to avail such as educational and capital assistance, food-for-work program, “Balik Probinsya” (return-to-the-province) program, and other relief assistance.
Tanyag said about 90 families have so far agreed to voluntarily leave as of Tuesday.