August 21-Kaibigan Ermita Outreach Foundation Inc. responded to a big fire that broke out at the urban poor community in Camia St. Adriatico Malate, Manila. The area was formerly a Kaibigan’s community-partner but was phased-out in 2011 although five students continue to avail the educational assistance program of the organization.
Reportedly the fire took away two lives namely Abelardo Salonga, 79 and his son Jimmy Salonga, 47 years old, while leaving 150 houses burned to ashes and more or less a hundred families homeless.
Currently the families are either staying on a basketball court, Bahay Tuluyan (a non-government organization who works with children needing special protection), Malate Church or on mini-tent houses lined up along the street near the burnt out houses while others found refuge in their relatives nearby.
While slowly recovering from the fire it is an added restraint for families of Malate to get back to their old lots and build new homes as a threat of demolition imposes on them due to claims that the land is government owned and the National Housing Authority (NHA) have not given land ownership titles to the dwellers.