Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go flew from Cebu to Metro Manila and went straight to Brgy. Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City past midnight to visit and give assistance to fire victims.
Go had attended the 49th Mandaue City Charter Day Anniversary, together with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, before going to the Jun Torres Gymnasium that served as evacuation center in Barangay Addition Hills.
A total of 374 families were affected by the fire that hit the community at around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
It reached the third alarm at 2:17 p.m. before being declared out at 3:33 p.m.
According to the barangay officials, wires might have sparked the fire.
In a media interview, Go presented two solutions in addressing the fire incident that took place. First was in terms of housing and relocation which he forwarded to National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager, and the second was the provision of fares for those who want to go back to their provinces.
“Kausap ko kanina si General Manager Marcelino Escalada, at noong nabalitaan ko na may nasunugan dito, sabi ko may mga available relocation sites ba tayo para sa mga qualified indigents? Sabi niya, mayroon. Kaya sabi ko, ipalista ninyo, i-validate natin. Tutulong kami,” Go said.
(I talked to General Manager Marcelino Escalada, and when I heard that a fire incident took place here, I asked if there are available relocation sites for the qualified indigents? He said yes. That’s why I said they should list them down, and we’ll validate it. We will help.)
“Sa mga may gustong umuwi ng mga probinsya nila, ako po ang magpapadala ng pamasahe sa kanila pauwi. Sabi ko nga, congested na masyado ang Maynila,” he added.
(To those who want to go back to their provinces, I will be the one to give them their fare on their way back home. Just like what I’ve said, it is already congested here in Manila).
His office, together with DSWD, provided cash assistance and grocery packs to the affected families. At midnight, “lugaw” was served and lunch will also be provided today for the evacuees.
Go also committed to provide uniforms for school kids and workers who were victims of the fire.
“Yung mga nag-aaral, nagtatrabaho po, kung kailangan po nila ng damit, uniporme, bilihan ko po kaagad,” he said.
(For the students here, those will go to work, if they need clothes, uniforms, we will provide for them immediately.)
He also mentioned that DOH and his office will provide medical assistance to victims who got injured, those who are sick, and pregnant mothers who need immediate medical attention.
“At sa ibang nasugatan pa dito, at may sakit, may libreng pagamot po. ‘Yung Malasakit Center andiyan para sa inyo. May mga nakita ako dito na buntis, may iba na may malubhang sakit, tutulungan natin sila,” he said.
(Some here are wounded and sick, we will provide free medical assistance. We have the Malasakit Center. I saw pregnant mothers and those who are seriously ill, we will help them. )
Aside from Go, his supporters and various private sector groups also provided hot meals, canned goods, shoes and other relief items for the families affected.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa mga kasamahan natin dito na sumama para magbigay saya sa mga biktima ng sunog. Maging ehemplo sana kayo sa iba pa nating mga mamamayan na nais rin tumulong,” he added.
(Thank you to those who also joined to give assistance to the fire victims. May you be a good example to others who also wish to help.)
Earlier this week, Go visited fire victims in Tondo and Parañaque in their respective evacuation centers.
He also continuously urged the Bureau of Fire Protection to intensify its information campaign to keep fires from happening.
“Alam din natin na meron kampanya ang ating Bureau of Fire, nag-iinform sila. So paigtingin pa lalo para talagang pumasok sa isipan nila na mag-ingat,” he said in a previous interview.
(We all know that the Bureau of Fire has an information campaign. So let us strengthen it so that the people will keep safety in mind.)