The 37 families displaced by the fire which engulfed a residential area in Tagbilaran City last week can no longer return to their homes and rebuild what was destroyed by the blaze.
This, after the owner of the lot, identified as Leni Madriñan, announced that she will be using the piece of land in Barangay Booy which was previously rented out to the victims.
“Wala na g’yud mi chance ani nga makabalik kay tua naman ang tag-iya sa yuta nagdala naman og court order. Gamiton na kono nila. Basin gani ila natong gi-kuraw karon,” said tricycle driver Jonathan Calipes whose family was among those that survived the fire.
Most of the families affected by the fire have been staying at the newly established evacuation center of the Tagbilaran City local government unit (LGU) in Barangay Dao.
They have asked for help from the LGU to allocate a relocation site for them or a temporary area where they can rebuild their houses.
According to Belen Miculob, a retired teacher of the Holy Name University, they were already notified by Madriñan to prepare for relocation over a year before the fire broke out as she will be using the piece of land for other purposes.
“Adtong last year gi-ingnan naman mi daan sa tag-iya nga mag-andam-andam nalang kay inig kuno human sa airport sa Panglao, ila na kuno gamiton ang yuta,” said Miculob who had been living in the area for over five years.
She was paying a rent of P200 per month to Madriñan.
There was no reported conflict between the lot owner and the residents in the area prior to the fire.
For its part, the Bureau of Fire Protection in Tagbilaran City said that their investigation was still ongoing.
Fire authorities said that the fire may have been set off by a clothes iron found inside the house where the blaze was pinpointed to have started. This however has yet to be confirmed.
Meanwhile, families at the LGU evacuation center continued to receive relief goods from various sectors including the Diocese of Tagbilaran through Bishop Abet Uy.
Station dyRD has also launched a fund-raising campaign for the families and continued to receive donations including cash, goods and clothes particularly underwear which was requested by the victims. (AD)