RAZED. The fire that hit two barangays in Iloilo City razed 272 houses and partially damaged 17 others on Jan. 29, 2023. The city government is eyeing the national government housing project implemented by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) to provide housing for the affected families. (Photo courtesy of Iloilo City Government) 

ILOILO CITY – The city government here is eyeing to provide housing to families that were displaced by a big fire in two barangays in Molo district here through the Pambansang Pabahay Para Sa Pilipino: Zero ISF Program for 2028 of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD).

Mayor Jerry Treñas, in a press conference on Monday, said the city government is planning to acquire the private property where the fire incident occurred early morning of Jan. 28 to build a medium rise building.

“It('s) timely since the national government has a program to build one million houses. If this will push through we are ready to partner with the national government,” he said.

The mayor said he received initial information that the owner is willing to sell the property that spans about 1.3 hectares to 1.6 hectares.

The mayor met with the owner, village chiefs of affected barangays, concerned city government offices, and a DHSUD representative to discuss the matter Monday afternoon.

“We will prioritize this to be included in the national government housing program of one million housing units a year,” he said.

He also invited the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) where the city government is finalizing to secure a PHP200 million loan for the acquisition of the land to address the housing needs of city residents.

The fire in Barangays West Habog-Habog and San Juan past 4 a.m. on Saturday has destroyed 272 houses and partially damaged 17 others displacing a total of 297 families, including 11 sharers, or equivalent to 927 individuals.

A report furnished by the Bureau of Fire Protection to the Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office has estimated the damage at PHP4.748 million.

As of Jan. 29, the City Health Office has provided treatment to 236 individuals who were injured or have other medical complaints.

Treñas said the affected families will be receiving financial assistance both from the national and local governments, a maximum of PHP10,000 for those with totally damaged houses and PHP7,000 for the partially damaged.

“We are ready. Congressman JamJam (Julienne Baronda) is coordinating with Senator Bong Go for the financial assistance through the Department of Social Welfare and Development,” he said.

Displaced families are currently staying at the elementary schools of the two barangays that served as their temporary evacuation centers. (PNA)