MANKAYAN, Benguet – The municipal government gave out some P570,000 as financial assistance to the 57 survivors of the fire that razed the Lepanto public market to allow them to be able to recover from the disaster.
Mayor Frenzel A. Ayong said the funds were drawn from the city government’s disaster risk reduction and management fund and other available sources.
However, he explained that while the funds will be equally divided among the affected market vendors, there are some kind-hearted individuals who are contemplating on giving their share to those who incurred bigger losses.
“We are elated there are some good Samaritans even during times of crisis and we hope they will touch the hearts of others for them to extend a helping hand to the ones in need and be blessed at all times,” Mayor Ayong stressed.
Earlier, Benguet board member Nestor Fongwan, Jr. also personally visited the relocation site of the displaced fire victims and extended to them financial and material assistance.
At present, the displaced market vendors are currently conducting their temporary business activities within the premises of the Lepanto open gymnasium and the pelota court while the city government and the mining company are still looking for the permanent relocation site for the market structure and the put up of the market building.
The municipal chief executive said it is unfortunate the Lepanto public market had been razed by a fire of undisclosed origin, thus, the need for residents to be extra careful in dealing with the summer heat to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents.
Arson investigators are still ascertaining the cause of the fire that gutted the Lepanto public market and the real amount of damages suffered by the vendors.
He expressed his gratitude to all those, who, in one way or the other, extended the needed assistance to the displaced vendors at the height of the fire incident and while they are recovering from their harrowing experience, especially that the victims lost their valuables and the products.
Ayong remains optimistic Lepanto management will assist the affected market vendors aside from providing for their temporary relocation site for their business activities.
Photo courtesy of Jorven Dacanay of Team Ayong