City officials requested the Social Security System (SSS) to grant affordable loans to its members who have been affected by the structural fire that gutted Blocks 3 and 4 of the city public market.
Under Resolution No. 183, series of 2023, local legislators stated that while the local government is working hard to provide assistance and help in the aftermath of the market fire incident turned tragedy, and at the same time doing recovery and relocation operations for the displaced vendors, the help and collaboration of other government and private agencies like financial institutions are undeniably needed in situations like the said fire incident.
Earlier, various issues and concerns were raised by the concerned stakeholders on how to address post-fire incident recovery at the city public market following the 5-hour fire that gutted Blocks 3 and 4 that caused the displacement of some 1,700 vendors regularly doing business in the said city facilities.
Many of the affected vendors who incurred losses and debts are currently facing financial crisis brought about by the fire incident and that they are desperately in need of financial capital to continue their established source of income to sustain the living condition of their families.
The council noted that the SSS administers social security protection to its members and beneficiaries against the hazards of disability, sickness, maternity, old age, death and other contingencies resulting in loss of income or financial burden.
On the other hand, the council also passed Resolution No. 182 strongly urging loans and financing institutions to defer payment of loans without incurring additional interest for those affected by the structural fire at the city public market last March 11 and 12, 2023.
The body underscored that the deferment of loan payments without incurring additional interests will help ease the financial burden of the affected stall owners and give them time to recover and rebuild their businesses.
According to the council, many of the vendors who were affected by the fire have allegedly taken out loans to finance their businesses and are currently facing the challenge of repaying the said loans amidst the heavy losses and damages caused by the fire to their established source of livelihood which is vending in the city market.
The council pointed out that the COVId-19 pandemic has also affected the financial situation of the fire-displaced stall owners making it more difficult for them to meet their financial obligations.
The local government expressed its solidarity with the affected stall owners and it is committed in ensuring support and help for them to recover from the said tragedy.