Erap ensures Port Area fire victims will get continuous aid from city gov’t

The Daily Tribune| Written by: Pat C. Santos| September 14,2016

Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has directed the Manila Social Welfare Department (MSWD) to ensure the 300 families who lost their homes in a huge fire in Port Area last Friday are being taken care of and their basic needs sufficiently provided for.

Estrada said the city government will provide whatever the fire victims need in order for them to rebuild their homes and start a new life again.

“We know how hard it is to lose a home. We are assuring the victims that they are not alone; the city government is here to assist them by all means,” the mayor said.

Estrada immediately contacted MSWD chief Dra. Nanet Tanyag to rush to Port Area and Tondo where another fire also took place that same night of September 9 and help the victims.

A total of 1,009 individuals or more than 300 families in Barangay 654, Pier 5 in Port Area have lost their homes while six suffered minor injuries, according to Tanyag.

In Gagalangin, Tondo, about 20 families were also rendered homeless in a separate fire that broke out more than an hour before the fire that hit the Port Area community.

“Since Friday, upon the directive of Mayor Estrada, we’ve been giving them three meals a day plus the basic necessities such as clothes, medicines, food packs and blankets,” Tanyag said.

Because the residents do not want to leave the area for fear they would be permanently evicted, Tanyag said they chose to put up makeshift tents along the sidewalks and covered walkways.

The property is reportedly owned by the Philippine Ports Authority, Tanyag said.

“Also, most of them work in the harbors so they won’t leave,” she added.

In every incident of fire and other calamities that hit Manila, Estrada has never forgotten to lend a helping hand to those affected. When a tornado hit Baseco Compound and Quiapo early last month, he provided P3 million worth of construction materials so residents can repair their damaged houses.

According to the Office of the City Engineer, the homes of 22 families in Quiapo were damaged by the tornado while in Baseco, 292 houses sustained varying degrees of damage, including around 50 shanties razed by a huge fire that took place just a few hours after the onslaught of the tornado.

Last March, Estrada donated a total of P7.3 million worth of construction supplies to families who lost their homes in two separate fires in barangays 775 and 770 in Sta. Ana.

When a big fire razed 130 houses in barangays 155 and 160 in Dagupan Extension, Tondo last January 1, Estrada also helped the victims reconstruct their homes.