News Release

Latter-day Saints Open Doors to Fire Victims in Davao City

Nearly 400 fire victims have evacuated to meetinghouses of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Agdao, Davao City, since March 9, 2021.

The Church facility opened its doors hours after the blaze, and currently shelters more than 70 families who have lost their homes, properties, and livelihood. Reports from sources confirmed that the fire, which broke out at 3 p.m., destroyed over 300 houses in Purok IKP and San Jose.

Church leaders responded quickly, welcoming fire victims around an hour after the Bureau of Fire Protection declared "fire out." The first evacuees who have taken shelter in the facility were five families from the Church. Within hours, a rising number of other families and individuals have filled the empty spaces until others had to camp outside the building.

Melissa Malingin, a student who took shelter in the Church building with her father and two siblings, expressed her gratitude, “We have nowhere else to go. I am grateful to the Church for letting us stay here."

“This is a big help for us,” said Virgilio Calo, 41, a construction worker and a father who had taken his family, his five siblings, and their own families, with him into the meetinghouse after the fire burned down their houses. “Without someplace to stay, we would have been overcrowding in the barangay hall, adding more to the physical, emotional, and mental distress that we are all experiencing."

Meanwhile, Latter-day Saint Charities (LDSC), the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in partnership with RGMA Super Radyo, also distributed 2,000 insect repellents to the fire victims. 

Barangay Captain Remedios Dela Luz thanked the LDSC for the donations. She remarked, "These insect repellents will significantly help protect the evacuees, considering their present conditions in our centers."

Eric Danao, bishop of the ward (congregation) leads the Church's effort in helping fire victims. “We made sure that our fellow brothers and sisters feel welcome here.” He noted that the evacuees were provided with rooms or tents, temporary bath cubicles, water supply, fans, and electricity, with a few house rules to manage the evacuees and keep the building safe and sanitary.

“We have much space,” he said, “and it is available for those who are in need in times like this, regardless of faith.”

Currently, Barangay Agdao and the evacuees are waiting for the city government's aid to rebuild their houses.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.