Kalibo Seeks Senators’ Help To Rehab Burned Public Market

The local government unit of Kalibo is asking financial support from national elected officials to help rehabilitate its public market, which was razed on Sunday.

The Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Kalibo on Monday, passed a resolution seeking PHP10-million financial assistance each from Senators Emmanuel Gatchalian and Ramon Revilla Jr. to be used for the “emergency rehabilitation” of the public market.

In a phone interview on Tuesday, Kalibo Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Terence Toriano said the fire displaced 331 vendors, based on the assessment conducted by the municipal social welfare and development office (MSWDO).

The fire damaged around 70 to 80 percent of the public market situated at the corner of Toting Reyes Street and Roxas Avenue. The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) estimated the damage to be around PHP35 million.

Toriano recalled that fire also hit the public market in 1998 but the damage was not that huge.

He said that the LGU has already identified options to accommodate affected vendors. One option is to negotiate with the owner of an adjacent lot, which is being used by the local government as a parking area, to allow the vendors to stay.

Another is to negotiate with the owner of a vacant lot across the eastern terminal in San Lorenzo Road to allow vendors to temporarily set up their stalls.

“Actually we have met with the vendors yesterday and some are amenable with the location across the eastern terminal. Others don’t want to stay away from the public market,” Toriano said.

Meantime, some vendors decided to use the front portion of the burned building. The public market is composed of three buildings and the ground floor is still usable.

The council, hours after the fire, also convened and declared a state of calamity for the LGU to extend assistance to the affected vendors.

Toriano added that they have yet to determine how much will be extended to the victims from out of the funds that will be taken from the quick response fund.

The rehabilitation, meanwhile, is estimated to cost some PHP40 to 50 million if a parking lot will be integrated but if the rehab will only be a single level market, then the LGU may need around PHP20 million, he said. (PNA)

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