Indeed some 350 families in Barangay Leon Garcia in Agdao district will let go with the year 2023 and meet the incoming 2024 with a sad and very painful note.
What with the loss of their houses and other personal belongings including, without doubt, all the material gifts they may have received this holiday season. Imagine, even before the sounds of merry-making died down two days after Christmas the houses of these families were levelled to the ground by a massive fire!
As to what caused the infernal incident we have yet to know from the city’s fire investigators. What is clear is that it happened during the most unexpected time and when every man or woman on earth is supposed to be in his/her happiest mode.
Today, barely four days before the onset of the year 2024 the fire victims have to literally scratch from the ashes to find anything from it that could still be useful for their survival. Those who have nothing in the banks to help them see through in the first crucial days after the monstrous disaster, have to either depend on the assistance from government and charity institutions, or beg for support from their relatives who can afford to share their blessings.
Meanwhile, we believe that the victims’ most immediate need is to have shelter over their heads. Other necessities like food, water, clothes can easily be acquired through donations from Good Samaritans.
The latter needs are also easier to mobilize. But the construction of new houses is the hardest as it would entail huge amount of money.
It is on this aspect that government should come in and mobilize resources from housing agencies and financial institutions so assistance in terms of low-interest and long-term loans can be extended to the family-fire victims.
We also believe that the City Government of Davao, for that matter, can take the initiative in pooling funds to jumpstart the housing construction. The fire victims are among the constituents of our public officials. Therefore, it is their bounden duty to find ways to help them get back on their feet. They should not just abandon the fire victims to feign for themselves. Otherwise, it would be difficult for them to go back to Barangay Leon Garcia in the next election to make yet another promise of serving the people in the area to the best of their ability.
Yes, the city government must make its people, specifically those who are now suffering from homelessness because of the December 27 fire, feel that they live in a city that boost of over P12 billion income and without any outstanding debt with any financial institutions.
If only to help its constituents who are in dire need of shelter, the city can possibly take a loan from financial agencies and use the proceeds to build houses for those qualified victims for minimal cost.
Perhaps, the chairman of the City Council’s Committee on Housing or its related legislative body can look into its viability and legality, and do the necessary when such a loan has legal legs to stand on.
What is the Council Committee on housing there for if it just acts like a group of people idly watching a sailboat passing by? Or, possibly they just put life to the anecdote of Juan and Pedro riding an airplane where the latter saw by the window the plane’s engine burning. Pedro woke up Juan who was in a slumber and informed him of what he saw. The former simply shrugged off his shoulder and told the latter not to mind it. After all, he says, “the airplane is not ours.”
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