GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Various government agencies released financial and relief assistance on Saturday afternoon to some 591 families displaced by a huge fire in a coastal community here on November 3.
Senator Christopher Lawrence Go personally led the distribution of the assistance to the affected residents of Purok Saeg, Barangay Calumpang in a convergence activity at the Pacific Southbay College Institute covered court.
Each household received family food packs and PHP12,000 cash assistance from the Office of Senator Go and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, as well as hygiene kits and face masks from the Department of Health.
The senator also gave out bicycles, shoes, vitamin packs, and computer tablets to selected recipients.
The beneficiaries are residents of three residential zones in Purok Saeg who lost their homes in a nearly four-hour blaze.
No casualties were reported in the fire but over 200 houses, mostly made of light materials, situated in the four-hectare site were gutted.
Go said his office pushed for the convergence activity to bring immediate relief to the affected residents, who are staying in various evacuation centers.
He urged the fire-hit residents “not to lose hope” and assured them that the government will always be there to help them.
“The most important thing is you are still here. Just continue to strive and work, and we’re here to help you,” he said in his speech.
During the activity, the Department of Agriculture distributed fruit and vegetable seeds to the evacuees while the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority offered free skills training to interested individuals.
Personnel from the Department of Trade and Industry here conducted an assessment for the granting of livelihood assistance to qualified residents and the National Housing Authority for resettlement housing.
College student Judy Ann Untal, whose family lost everything they had in the fire, said the assistance was a big relief for them.
“We’re really grateful to the government for providing for our needs. This somehow gives us hope amid this difficulty,” she told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in the vernacular.
Go advised affected families who would need any medical assistance to avail of the services of the Malasakit Center at the local government-run Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital here.
Before coming here, the senator graced the distribution of various assistance on Saturday noon to farmers at the Bagsakan Center in Tantangan town, South Cotabato. (PNA)