Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada took a side trip to Iloilo City Saturday afternoon to visit and deliver assistance to victims of fire which gutted more than 270 houses. The fire broke out last January 22 during the Dinagyang festivities.
Affected residents from Barangays Tanza Esperanza, Tanza Timawa and Malipayon gathered in Jose Rizal National High School to receive relief bags containing rice, canned goods and other basic necessities from Sen. Estrada.
The younger Estrada was in Iloilo Province to grace the annual patronal town fiesta celebration of Municipality of Janiuay, upon invitation of Mayor Frankie Locsin.
Around 366 families were displaced and left homeless by the fire and are currently seeking temporary shelter in Rizal National High School, Mabini Elementary School and Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School. Classes were also suspended to accommodate the affected residents, as 10 families were cramped inside a classroom.
According to a report by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 1,830 persons were affected by the incident and were dispersed in six evacuation centers.
Department of Social Welfare and Development – Region 6 (DSWD 6) also provided the families hot meals, bottled water, plastic mats, among others, while social workers also conducted stress debriefing and psychological intervention. “I sympathize with the residents for undergoing this tragic ordeal. Napakahirap mawalan ng tahanan at maubusan ng pinag-ipunang ari-arian at magsimula sa umpisa,” Sen. Estrada empathized as he personally witnessed the scale of the incident which happened just right at the back of one of the evacuation centers.