BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Fire victims of Purok Neptune in Brgy. Singcang Airport, Bacolod City, received about P400,00 in cash aid from President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Christopher Lawrence Go on Wednesday.
The 61 affected families each received P2,000 from the President and P5,000 from Go, who was represented by Samantha Dela Peña.
Aside from the cash assistance, the fire victims also received grocery packs containing frozen food, vitamins, facemasks, and face shields, while rubber shoes, tablets, and mountain bikes were raffled off.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia led the distribution of assistance with the Office of the City Social Services and Development.
Leonardia, who earlier distributed more than P500,000 in cash aid for the fire victims, said that they are lucky that they not only have assistance from Senator Go, but also directly from Malacañang.
The fire incident that occurred on April 26 was triggered by an electrical short circuit, where 55 houses were razed and 235 individuals affected.
Joining Leonardia in the distribution of assistance were councilors Renecito Novero and Simple Distrito, former councilor Caesar Distrito, Barangay Singcang-Airport Captain Rosinie Distrito and other barangay officials.
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority supervising specialist John Robert Ronguillo and Elrose Padernal of the Tesda provincial office, National Housing Authority Community Support Services chief Marissa Morillo of the Negros Occidental District Office, DSWD-Region 6 Crisis Intervention Section head Joselito Estember, Department of Trade and Industry development specialist Sheryl Dioteles, and DSSD-Bacolod head Pacita Tero also attended the activity.
Tesda offered free training and assessment courses to the fire victims, who will be able to comply with the training admission requirements.
The NHA will validate onsite the list of fire victims endorsed by the DSSD if they can avail of the Emergency Housing Assistance Program of at least P5,000.
DTI will assess the fire victims and identify micro-entrepreneurs and help them. It also offered a free program for training on entrepreneurship. In a video message played during the distribution program, Go thanked the DSWD, Tesda, DTI, NHA, and city and barangay officials for their assistance to the fire victims.*