The number of persons affected by the fire in Barangay Banago in Bacolod City has not reached the requirement for it to be declared under a state of calamity, Jose Maria Vargas, Bacolod City Risk Reduction Management officer, said yesterday.
The BCRRM and the City Social Welfare and Development have verified 167 families affected by the fire that hit two puroks in Brgy. Banago, Wednesday.
Vargas said that, based on Memorandum Circular No. 4 of the National Disaster Coordinating Council, the number of persons affected should be 20 percent of its total population.
Banago population is about 27,000, and 20 percent of it is 5,000, he said.
Barangay Captain Arnel Benjamin is appealing for financial assistance in the affected families to rebuild their houses.
Sally Abelarde, City Social Welfare and Development head said that, in Purok Katilingban, all 119 houses were destroyed, while in Purok Kawayan, 21 houses were destroyed and six were damaged.
Investigation showed that the fire originated at the house of a certain Estella Barros in Zone 2, Purok Katilingban, who, residents claim, is mentally unstable, and spread to the nearby houses.
The evacuees are presently housed at the Domingo Lacson National High School, while some have started to rebuild their houses in the same place where they were located.
Bacolod fire marshal, Chief Insp. Bartolome Beliran estimated the damage caused by the blaze, at about P3.7 million.
He said Barros has not yet been found, and no charges have been filed against her, since there are no complainants.
Vargas said immediate needs like food, water, medicine and clothing for the victims who sought shelter at the DLNHS are being properly addressed.
Several Local Government Offices, Non-government organization and private individuals have given assistance to the evacuees, he also said.*CGS