Senator to lobby for council’s aid request for fire victims

Senator Imee Marcos said that she will lobby with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. regarding the Iloilo City Council’s request for assistance for the housing needs of the fire victims in Molo district.

By John Noel E. Herrera

During her visit to Iloilo City on Saturday, Feb 4, 2023, Senator Imee Marcos said that she will relay to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. the Iloilo City Council’s request for assistance for the housing needs of fire victims in Molo district.

“Yes, definitely. I already said that ako yung super ate, so bibitbitin ko yan at ipapadala ko kaagad, and I will also make sure na the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) will get a copy,” she said.

The city council earlier passed a resolution appealing for President Marcos Jr.’s assistance for the relocation of families affected by the Jan 28, 2023 fire that razed a large area of Barangays San Juan and West Habog-Habog in Molo district.

The senator also hoped that the National Housing Authority (NHA) would notice the housing problem in Iloilo City, and acknowledged the fact that it is difficult for informal settlers to relocate since they’d be away from their source of living.

“The brand new department of housing is embarking in a quite aggressive housing program, sana mabigyan ng pansin kasi ito talaga ay malaking problema, lalo na sa syudad kasi nagsisiksikan ang mga informal settlers sa mga lupa na may nag-mamay-ari at hindi sila, tapos yung available na lupa malayo naman sa hanap-buhay, sa eskwelahan and that’s the struggle,” Sen. Marcos said.

“The reality is the people will not move unless there is employment and livelihood, educational facilities and community centers and churches,” she stressed.

She also suggested the housing projects follow a “vertical housing” design since there are only a few available lands in the city.

Last Saturday, Sen. Marcos visited Baluarte Elementary School to check on the victims of a fire that gobbled almost 300 houses and affected at least 1,100 individuals in Molo district.

The senator facilitated the distribution of P5,000 cash assistance to the victims through the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).

“Nangalampag ako, we finally found some money to give them, at least may P5,000, may food packs and other hygiene packs galing sa DSWD, kahit papaano kaunting tulong,” she said.

Prior to her visit, Sen. Bong Go, House Speaker Martin Romualdez and Iloilo City Lone District Representative Julienne Baronda also facilitated the distribution of DSWD’s AICS worth P10,000 and other food and non-food items to the victims.