Fire reduces around 100 houses in Quezon City to ashes
Maris Federez • January 1, 2020 • 354
QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Around 100 houses were reduced to ashes as fire razed Barangay Vasra in Quezon City an hour before the turning of the new year.
The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said the fire immediately reached task force alpha on Palanas street at around 11 in the evening on Tuesday (Dec. 31) which left residents scurrying to leave the place with whatever household items they can bring.
Most of the households in the area were busy preparing for the new year festivities when the fire broke out.
The BFP firefighters declared fire out at past 1 in the morning.
Investigation on the cause of the fire is now in place said the BFP. — (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is looking to arm 29,286 firefighters of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) this year in line with the government’s drive against illegal drugs, criminality, terrorism and violent extremism.
“Maintaining law and order is not an easy task. Despite the decreasing crime rate in the country, having the BFP’s firefighters in our peace and order campaign is a boost and welcome addition in ensuring a safe and secure country,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement issued Wednesday.
The DILG chief said firemen will be armed with 9MM pistols to strengthen the government’s law enforcement campaign, and also for self-defense purposes as fire victims, out of frustration, sometimes gang up on fire personnel during firefighting operations.
“May mga pagkakataon na sa kagustuhan ng mga tao na unahing isalba ang kanilang nasusunog na bahay, kinukuyog nila ang mga bombero at nagkakagulo. Nais din naman nating protektahan at sundin ng mga tao ang ating mga bombero habang ginagawa nila ang kanilang trabaho,” he added.
Año believes the move is “timely and critical,” and in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive of engaging BFP’s help to maintain law and order and not to limit their roles to firefighting.
He also said that the BFP, along with the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, is permitted by law to assist government troops in times of national emergency if ordered by the president under the Republic Act 6975.
“The BFP also does law enforcement functions because they enforce the Fire Code so they already have some experience in this regard. The BFP can help ensure public safety, as a support to the PNP and AFP but of course, their primary responsibility is still preventing and suppressing fire and enforcement of the Fire Code,” he said.
Año revealed that the BFP has already requested funds from the Department of Budget and Management for the procurement of the firearms.
He also assured that firemen would undergo marksmanship and gun safety training before they will be issued their firearms.
“Hindi rin naman natin basta-basta aarmasan sila ng walang tamang training,” he said.
For his part, newly-appointed BFP Director Jose Segundo Embang said he welcomes the move to arm BFP personnel, adding that this is a necessary upgrade in terms of responsibilities and skills “to cope with the demands of the times.”
“Hindi na ito yong conditional firefighters na nakikita natin before. Ito na iyong mga modern heroes, kung makikita ninyo sa mga disasters. Hindi lang sa mga natural disasters but even during man-made disasters, kasi sila talaga ang first responders, sila ang cornerstone of emergency preparedness and response,” Embang said.
“Ngayon ay makakasama na kami sa pagpapanatili ng public safety,” he added.
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