By Chito Chavez
In the observance of the Fire Prevention Month this March, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has acquired 266 new fire trucks to further boost the firefighting capabilities of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said the new fire trucks, which are set to be distributed to key cities and municipalities this year and next year, will beef up the fire prevention and suppression efforts of the BFP, especially during March with the onset of the summer season.
“Fire incidents usually peak during summer and we want our firefighters to be ready to be of assistance to the public during conflagrations and other emergencies,” says Año.
“We are hopeful that with the acquisition of new fire trucks, the BFP will be more than equipped to rush to the location of the blaze to put out the fire and rescue possible victims,” he added.
Of the 266 fire trucks, 56 units with 1,000-gallon capacity, which were part of last year’s procurement program, will be delivered any time soon for distribution to fire stations without fire trucks and to re-fleet 20-year-old units.
For this year’s procurement, the DILG chief noted the acquisition of another 56 units worth around P700-million, 1,260 sets of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), and three units of rescue trucks has already passed the early procurement stage and a Notice of Award will soon be issued to the winning bidder.
On the other hand, the procurement of 126 units of 1,000-gallon fire trucks is now in the hands of the Philippine International Trading Corporation which is conducting post-qualification of the lowest calculated bidder.
“We expect that the award of this project will be made this year,” he added.
Meanwhile, the acquisition of 28 other units of fire trucks for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which is being handled by the DBM Procurement Service, is being rushed.
“Ensuring public safety is one of the primary tasks of the government. This is why it fully supports the BFP’s modernization program by setting aside funds for the purchase of new fire trucks and equipment every year,” said Año.
He noted the ideal fire truck to population ratio is 1 for every 28,000 residents.
Also scheduled for delivery this year and part of the 2018 procurement are three units of collapsed structure and rescue trucks worth P64.5-million which will be given to BFP National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon.
Five aerial ladders and 20 units of water tenders (2,500-gallon capacity fire truck) with a combined cost of around P576-million are also up for delivery to be used by highly urbanized cities.
Eighty-one BFP district and provincial offices will also receive 81 SCBA refilling system.