ON April 6, 2019 a big fire hit Sitio Ibaba in Barangay Santa Clara, Batangas City and destroyed 150 houses belonging to 490 families consisting of 1,790 individuals. The evacuees are currently housed in four evacuation centers, Colegio ng Lungsod ng Batangas, Livelihood Center-Batangas Port, Barangay Hall at Barangay Santa Clara and Santa Clara Elementary School.
Recognizing that time is of the essence, President Romel Chozas of the Batangas City Sto. Niño Devotees Association (Northern California) convened an emergency meeting of the Officers and Board members on April 16 to discuss providing material relief aid to the evacuees. On a unanimous vote by the nine Board Members present the Board appropriated the amount of $4,000 (PhP204,000) for the purchase and distribution of much needed relief aid materials.
On April 18, the $4,000 was wired to Mr. Alfon Perez one of the Association’s facilitator on the relief aid in Batangas City. With the assistance of the other relief aid facilitators Vicky Atienza and Barangay Captain Derick Arago of Barangay Santa Clara they proceeded with the purchase and packaging of the relief aid materials and commenced with the distribution to the 490 families in the four evacuation centers, The relief aid packages consisted of coffee, a bag of rice, canned foods and bottled water. The distribution was completed on the end of April.
On the other hand, Dr. Mallou Atienza Cuasay and Lakewood Dental Clinic also donated supplies consisting of large plastic drums, plastic water basins and plastic cans to the 490 families in the evacuation centers.
The following are the officers of the Batangas City-Sto. Niño Devotees Association (NorCal): Romel Chozas-President, Fe Remo-Bueno, Vice President, Bobby Reyes -Secretary, Rosie Agustin– Treasurer, Becky Gamab-Auditor, Christian Buquid-PRO. Other members of the Board of Directors: Delia Godoy Montano, Bernie Ayap, Bayani Baliwag, Ching Calucag, Malou Atienza Cuasay, Melvin Macatangay, Philo Mendoza, Ardie Perez, and Cecil Zaraspe.
Text message from Barangay Captain Derrick Arago of Barangay Santa Clara sent via Messenger on April 29:
“Thanks po sa tulong ninyo… sa samahan ng Batanguenyo/Batangas City Sto. Niño devotees ng California. Malaking tulong po ito para sa kanila. Si God na po ang bahalang magbalik ng blessings po sa inyo. Kay Mam Vicy Atienza, lalo na alam ko pong pagod kayo at 4 na evacuation center and ating ginaor, sa barangay officials, Team Alfon salamat din sa inyo. To God be the glory.”