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Construction of Cabatangan evac center is now a must

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(Enlightenment—Passage of the Day)

Q.) HOW WILL IT BE WHEN THE SECOND COMING OF THE SON OF MAN HAPPENS?

A.) “AS THE DAYS THAT WERE BEFORE THE FLOOD THEY WERE EATING AND DRINKING, MARRYING AND GIVING IN MARRIAGE, UNTIL THE DAY THAT NOE ENTERED INTO THE ARK, AND KNEW NOT UNTIL THE FLOOD CAME, AND TOOK THEM AWAY; SO SHALL ALSO THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE.” (MATTHEW 24: 38). Email: jayfeliciano2@yahoo.com

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Throngs of our evacuees from various types of disasters (both man-made as well as natural), dominantly figured by fire incidents, have been temporarily sheltered in most of our public school buildings to the detriment of our own school kids. How they add more social burdens to our city gov’t, not to mention, of course, the common complaints of our public school officials as most if not all these fire victims have been lodged in their already congested school buildings or compounds, right after they were rendered homeless due to all these conflagrations. Fires persist in La Bella, as they have been swallowing up left and right houses and all other structures like nay any let-up—especially, in impoverished communities whose houses were known as made of light materials.

From January to July this year, the running total of fires that struck our city has already climbed to 84( it further soared to 86 with the two separate fires that hit Brgy. Pasonanca yesterday morning, Aug. 3).

On July 26, the day  President Duterte visited La Bella Zbga to personally show his sincerest sympathy and support to hundreds of the fire victims in Brgy. Labuan. 403 families lost their homes when a huge fire flattened one of its puroks near its

Shoreline last July 22.As if not to be outdone, a huge fire struck, too, in Brgy. Kasanyangan that rendered homeless to some 156 families in the area. The irony of it, the inferno occurred on the day, July 26, PRRD landed in ZC.

And, I’m afraid (buyak simbaku!), more are coming if our own folks remain grossly negligent, careless and irresponsible in tending their own kitchensor simply nuts whenever power woes hit the city.In their desperation to bring back light by means of their unattended lit candles or any improvised lamps susceptible to fires at the height of the blackout period, suddenly a blaze surprises them, until it no longer can be controlled as it has the propensity to spread out to all the nearby neighborhoods, and in short hours--their average is from one to two hours long when finally our firefighters declare a fire-out, the whole place has been leveled to the ground, as a result of the inferno.

Now, the problem continues to hound our fire victims right after their houses were reduced to ashes. This is where our local government has to do something more solid—not just shelter them temporarily in all those public school buildings whose student population every year increases.

This is where the dogging issue of the city’s much-ballyhooed evacuation center project it plans to set up in Brgy. Cabatangan, has to be addressed swiftly. Our city gov’t has its own purchased lot in the said (upper) barangay that overlooks the whole city proper. It reportedly measures in hectares not bigger than ten (10), and it sits near the controversial ARMM property that our city gov’t is trying to repossess via the national gov’t that’s empowered under ARMM’s own laws, to buy them out and sell at cheap price to the local gov’t unit, like ZC, where such properties are found. The ARMM accordingly acquired its huge Cabatangan  property by virtue of a presidential proclamation or decree envisioned during the martial law era under the late strongman Pres. Ferdinand Edralin Marcos when the latter declared Martial Law on Sept. 21, 1972, up to year 1986 when Marcos was forced to go into exile in Hawaii, USA.

BACK to our fire victims’ sorry plight sans the city’s planned primary evac center to rise somewhere in its own lot in Brgy. Cabatangan, in my latest interview with City Engr. Chris Navarro, the latter informed that his office has already submitted its thorough evaluations of all the construction requirements and/or needs, to include their full computations as to how much the city has to pour the necessary funding to run in huge figures to complete in a pretty long period of time, probably in months or even a year or more.

CDRRMO head Dr. Elmeir Apolinario, in an earlier interview by this corner, said the Cabatangan evac center when culminated, is aimed to serve all evacuees displaced not only by fires but  all the other familiar disasters, like flooding, landslides, and of course, the most anticipated (Godforbid!) tremors or quakes as warned by no less than Phivolcs.

Our La Bella Zbga, as always, faces the portentous danger of the so-called “Big Bang” from both the Sulu trench down south and the  Cotabato trench coming from the central portion of mainland Mindanao.

As of this date, the multitude in number of evacuees in our city is what worries our city gov’t the most. And, so, with this dire need to accomplish, lest social problem in LaBella worsens, the construction of its proposed Cabatangan evacuation center, I strongly hint, should be our city gov’t’s topmost priority. For if not, what a big letdown it’ll be under the current administration of our lady Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar.

When election comes by May 2019 that’s only less than a year from now, somebody will absolutely take advantage of such a ticklish issue. And who emerges a genius in this kind of game? Your guess is as good as mine. (By Jun Feliciano) (30)




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