Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año welcomed Tuesday, July 27, President Duterte’s calls for the legislators to enact a law that will modernize the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
To recall, Duterte called for the passage of a legislation that would strengthen and modernize the BFP during his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.
The bicameral version of the bill seeks to “establish and implement the BFP Modernization Program geared towards the capability enhancement of its personnel and acquisition of state-of-the-art fire prevention, fire suppression, fire investigation, emergency medical and rescue services apparatus.”
“Actually last year SONA pa ni Presidente iyan, hindi pa naipasa pero tapos na sa Lower House. We are welcoming that law kasi for so long a time alam naman natin ang BFP marami pang kulang na gamit. Ang ating fire trucks kulang pa, ang mga fire officers hindi pa natin nakukuha ang ideal ratio na dapat 1 is to 28,000 tapos bawat fire truck dapat at least 14 people nagmamando diyan. Ang ating mga high ladder fire trucks kayang tumira ng apoy sa story building para hindi na pumasok bumbero sa loob (Actually it was mentioned in the President’s SONA last year, it hasn’t been passed yet but is was concluded in the Lower House. We are welcoming that law because for so long a time we all know that the BFP has a lot of equipment lacking, our fire trucks are still not enough, the 1 is to 28,000 ideal ratio has yet to be attained, and for each fire truck at least 14 people should be in charge there, our high ladder fire trucks that can put out fires in the story building so that firefighters need not to enter inside),” Año said.
The DILG chief noted that all municipalities must have at least a minimum of one fire truck and one fire station but there are areas with fire trucks but no fire stations and vice versa.
“Mga 1,400 municipalities (need fire trucks or fire stations), may mga 200 plus pa tayo na kailangan mabigyan ng fire truck dahil either luma na yung fire truck as in more than 30 years tapos yung iba wala pang fire truck (About 1,400 municipalities, there are 200 plus that need to be given fire trucks because the fire trucks are either old as in more than 30 years and the others have no fire truck yet.),” he added.
Año also stressed the BFP’s need for fire boats since most cities along the coastline areas are crowded with narrow roads that the fire trucks cannot negotiate.
He disclosed that they already have the fire ladder trucks bought since last year were used in key areas like Makati City and Quezon City but more of them are needed in the urban centers.