2.03.2011

PIA News Service - Friday, February 4, 2011

Fire razes old Butuan City Hall building

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, February 4 (PIA) – In the middle of the calamity experienced by local folks here and in the entire Caraga Region due to massive flooding and landslides, another calamity struck the city as the old city hall building razed in a fire at about 4:00 on Friday morning, and was placed under control at around 6:30 a.m.

The Offices of the Commission on Audit (COA), Vice-Mayor, Land Transportation Traffic Management Office (LTTMO), Professional Regulations Commission (PRC), Commission on Elections (COMELEC), Old City Treasurer, Sangguniang Panlunsod, Liga ng mga Punong Barangay were turned into ashes.

According to Vice-Mayor Lawrence Lemuel Fortun, because of the incident, they will propose to City Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr. that temporarily, the People’s Hall located at the third floor of the new city hall building will be used as the SP Office and session hall.

Meanwhile, as per info from City Councilor Ryan Anthony Culima, the official said all SP Ordinances were saved as he personally supervised in saving the said documents. However, he said all documents in the COA Office were turned into ashes.

Further, Vice-Mayor Fortun said all ICT equipment of the building were burned. In an initial investigation, estimated damaged is about P15 million. No casualty has been reported. (PIA-Caraga)


Butuan official instructs SP to submit inventory of assessment after fire blazes old city hall bldg

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, February 4 (PIA) – Vice-Mayor Lawrence Lemuel Fortun on Friday instructed the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) to immediately submit an inventory of assessment on the extent of the damage brought about by fire razing the old city hall building early morning on Friday.

In an interview with the official, he said the SP members were also instructed to immediately submit an inventory of their own personal equipment and facilities since majority of it were housed at the SP Office.

In spite of the incident, Fortun said business transactions will still go on since today, Friday is the last working day of the week.

The second chief executive of the city has also requested Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante Jr. for the utilization of the People’s Hall in the third floor of the new city hall building for the SP Office and Session Hall.

Fortun further said all job order employees are already instructed to report on Saturday and Sunday to fix everything and that the People’s Hall will be ready for Monday.

When asked what equipment and facilities were damaged, Fortun said all equipment and facilities pertaining to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) will not be functional anymore since some were burned and others were already wet because of the water from the fire trucks. Said equipment and facilities is estimated at around P400,000, he said.

Furthermore, Fortun said hardcopies of the SP Resolutions were saved but he cannot assure that all are still intact because of the quick response of the city hall personnel this morning. As to the softcopies of the said documents, Fortun stressed nothing is saved. (PIA-Caraga)


Gawad Kalinga partners with OCD, AFP in handing relief assistance to flood victims

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, February 4 (PIA) – Gawad Kalinga, in partnership with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army will hand-in relief assistance to flood victims in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte.

According to Lt. Col. Efraim Oropel, Bancasi Camp Commander, Gawad Kalinga has coordinated with OCD and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to give relief assistance to victims of the recent massive flooding which hits Cara Region due to a low pressure area.

Also, Dr. Blanche Gobenciong, Regional Director of OCD-Caraga confirmed that the distribution of relief assistance will be conducted on Friday afternoon to flood victims in Kitcharao.

However, Gobenciong said Gawad Kalinga has informed her office earlier that if they have enough relief goods, flood victims in the municipality of Jabonga will also be given. “But according to Gawad Kalinga, this afternoon’s distribution will be prioritized to Kitcharao affected residents,” the OCD chief said.

It can be recalled that thousands of families were displaced after massive flooding hits Caraga Region resulting from incessant rains started on January 31, 2011 until Wednesday, February 2, 2011.

As of press time, there are still areas in the region submerged with flood waters including the regional center – Butuan City. (PIA-Caraga)


DSWD Regions X, XI extend relief assistance to Caraga flood victims

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, February 4 (PIA) – Some 1,500 packs of used clothing arrived here on Thursday from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region X, and another 1,700 packs of same items from DSWD Region XI, after DSWD-Caraga requested from their Central Office in Manila to augment relief assistance to the recent flood victims in the region.

The information was relayed to PIA by Lt. Col. Efraim Oropel, officer-in-charge of the Division Support Area of the 402nd Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army.

Ms. Leah Quintana, information officer of DSWD-Caraga confirmed the information and said that the social welfare regional office here requested their Central Office for the assistance and informed them that DSWD Region X and XI will send the relief assistance.

Quintana also said relief assistance from Cagayan de Oro City will be distributed to Butuan City flood victims who were greatly affected by the recent calamity while relief assistance from Davao City will be distributed to those areas or provinces on a first come-first served basis. (PIA-Caraga)