Cagayan de Oro council bats extending help to fire victims

IN THE aftermath of the biggest fire to hit Cagayan de Oro this post-summer season, a city councilor made an appeal to the council to be more generous in providing help to the victims.

Councilor Reuben Daba said the City Council must not only provide assistance to the hundreds employees of the fire-hit Palaña Grocers and Hotel Conchita in Cogon Market area, but also consider the plight of the establishment owners.

“We have to alleviate their situation in the form of special tax credit,” Daba said, citing that the proprietors of the grocery store and hotel are both deserving of any help they can get as “they have been truthful taxpayers of the City Government.”

He also urged the city councilors to hasten and pass a resolution to help the 400 employees, through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) fund, under the executive department.

“We will do the profiling, through the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD), to identify those who are really employed by the grocery and hotel, kay basin naay mosakay (since someone might ride on the issue),” the councilor said

READ: Cagayan de Oro fire leaves 100 workers jobless

“The employees, so far from what I gathered, still haven't received their July 15 salary. But we cannot force the employers to give it to them because they too, are fire victims, so in our part, we need to help them immediately,” Daba added.

Each employee, according to Daba, could receive P1,500 from the AICS fund.

Daba's proposal is deferred to the committee on ways and means.

City Councilor George Goking, chairman of the committee, said they will have to study the proposal.

“The local government could help the taxpayers, especially those that are faithful, so it is possible that we give the Palanas' the tax credit. Tax credit are meant to help businesses that are in dire need of our assistance,” he said

“We have to get legal opinions, dili pud basta-basta na makahatag ta,” he added.

City Fire District Marshall Wilfredo David said they are also investigating the personnel who installed and repaired the centralized air conditioner of the grocery store, which could be the possible cause of the fire.

David said from the P7 million losses, the owner of the grocery reported an initial P25 million worth of stocks in the grocery, burned down by the evening fire on July 13. (PJO)