The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has facilitated the permanent relocation of more than half of the 100 families displaced by a fire that hit a community of informal settlers at Barangay Vasra in Quezon City last December 31.

DENR Assistant Secretary for Finance, Information Systems and Mining Concerns NonitaCaguioa reported that 56 families affected by the New Year’s Eve fire that gutted SitioPalanas, which is located right beside the DENR Central Office, have already moved to their new homes at the resettlement site of the National Housing Authority (NHA) in Norzagaray town in Bulacan province.

Prior to their relocation on January 30 and 31, the fire victims stayed at the covered court inside the DENR compound.

“On orders of Secretary Roy Cimatu, the DENR offered the covered court to serve as temporary shelter for the fire victims and coordinated with the NHA for their immediate relocation,” said Caguioa, who supervised the relocation along with representatives from the NHA and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

Six families are awaiting relocation while the remaining 38 are still undergoing pre-qualification assessment by the NHA.

The fire affected around 1,900 square meters of land located within a 7.4-hectare property owned by the DENR.

Of the entire property, only 4.7 hectares are used by the DENR; while the remaining 2.7 hectares are occupied by informal settler families, many of whom have been in the area since the 1950s. ###