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Displaced GenSan mall workers get P20-M aid

January 26, 2020 - Sunday 6:01 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image UNMINDFUL. In this file photo dated October 17, 2019, mall workers and volunteers go around distributing bottled water to those involved in putting out a huge fire that broke out at the Gaisano Mall of General Santos City shortly after the magnitude 6.3 earthquake rocked some parts of Mindanao. ROMMEL G. REBOLLIDO / MINDANEWS FILE PHOTO

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The city government released on Friday around P20 million in cash assistance to displaced workers of a shopping mall here that was gutted down by a fire that broke out after a strong earthquake in October last year.

Rebecca Magante, head of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), said a total of 2,403 workers of Gaisano Mall received cash vouchers of P8,400 each as calamity assistance.

The cash grants were released to the beneficiaries in a gathering at the Robinsons Mall.

Magante said the assistance was drawn from the city’s local disaster risk reduction and management fund.

She said the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council approved last year the release of some P20 million as financial assistance for the displaced workers of Gaisano Mall.

The CSWDO recommended the provision of cash vouchers to the affected workers covering at least 45 days.

A fire erupted at a portion of the Gaisano Mall several minutes after the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that jolted parts of Mindanao last October 16.

The Bureau of Fire Protection said the blaze gutted down at least 90 percent of the 2.3-hectare shopping mall and left an estimated damage of P2 billion.

Magante said the release of the assistance was delayed due to the series of validation on the list of beneficiaries.

The CSWDO initially profiled around 1,500 workers directly affected by the incident but the list eventually increased to over 2,400, she said.

“We covered all displaced workers who were included on the list based on instructions (of City Mayor Ronnel Rivera),” Magante said.

Kayloh Aboh, one of the affected workers, said the long wait was worth it.

“I am very grateful to the city government for attending to our needs,” he said in an interview.

The displaced workers received a cash assistance of P3,000 each from the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Region 12. PNA