MABINI, Bohol – -Vice-Mayor Juanito Jayoma expressed displeasure over the extent of the damage to the crops and dwelling and delay, if not lack, of immediate help from agencies concerned as a result of the bushfire of still unknown origin in this coastal town. In an exclusive interview yesterday, Vice-Mayor Jayoma said his farm crops destroyed by the bushfire cost him heavily.
He said that some 800 fruit-beaaring coconut trees, some a hundred planted G-melina and some 50 fruit-bearing mangoes in his farmlands in barangay Concepcion were destroyed and somewhat irrecoverable. A farm house was burnt, the vice-mayor said. He identified the owner as one Onseng Tuyor. But no one was hurt.
Barangay Minol chairman Edgar Tumanda estimated that about a hundred hectares or more mostly of natural trees and planted ones and cogonal grasses were turned into an inferno burning fiercely along its path that quickly spead to nearby mountain up to his barangay. The officials detected the bushfire at past seven in the morning on Saturday (May 30). And it lasted up to past four in the afternoon.
Tumanda said that this prompted him to gather his barangay tanods together with tanods of neighboring barangay Concepcion to contain the conflagration that is nearing the residential house of the vice-mayor and another houses nearby.
A firetruck of this town came in also to control the bushfire but to no avail, except to some extent, Tumanda said. Hours after, another firetruck from Jagna arrived at the scene and helped put off the fire which already spread to nearby mountains.
Other fire trucks like the one owned by Alturas group of companies were supposedly to extend help in putting off the bushfire but did not proceed here because of the town’s fire department assurance that the bushfire was already under control, the vice mayor said.
But the it was not true that the bushfire was already contained. The fact that the wilfire spread to other mountains means it was not yet controlled, the vice-mayor said.
He said that the town’s fire truck was driven by a fire department worker and a helper but no fire officials showed to help, not even the fire chief, he said. The fire officer on duty was nowhere to be found, he said. Both the driver and a helper are temporary employees, he said. (rvo)