Bong Go calls for modernization of BFP; vows to continue assisting victims of fire incidents, natural disasters and other crisis situations

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go reiterated his commitment to push for a measure which seeks to modernize the Bureau of Fire Protection and improve its capability to respond to various kinds of fire incidents.

“Nasa committee level na ito and for committee report….na-tackle na ito sa Senado at, hopefully, ay papasa ito next year,” Go said during an ambush interview after distributing emergency assistance to fire victims in Muntinlupa City on Tuesday, December 15.

“Full support ako sa BFP. Sinusulong ko po ang kanilang modernization pagdating sa mga kagamitan at kakayahan ng ating mga firefighters,” he said.

“Kasama na rin itong education awareness campaign laban sa sunog. Kailangan natin i-educate ‘yung taumbayan kung ano ang mga bawal para maiwasan ang disgrasya tulad ng tapping (electricity), at ‘yung pagdidikit-dikit ng mga gamit na pwedeng maging sanhi ng sunog,” he added.

Under Senate Bill No. 204 which Go filed on July 2019, the BFP shall be mandated to develop and implement a fire protection modernization program which will include the hiring of more personnel, acquisition of modern fire equipment, and provision of more trainings for firefighters, among others.

The BFP will also be directed to conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drives in every local government unit, especially in informal settlements, economically depressed areas and far-flung communities.

“Domino effect po ‘yan tuwing mayroong nasusunugan, tulad dito isang bahay nasunog pero damay po mahigit isang daang pamilya…. Hindi lang po isang daang pamilya, limang daan indibidwal po [na] tamaan at apektado, na walang bahay na matitirhan,” he lamented.

The Senator assured that he will continue to promote the welfare and protection of victims of natural and human-induced disasters, especially the less fortunate and those who are considered among the most vulnerable, such as children, the elderly and disabled.

Among other priority measures, he also filed SBN 1228, which provides for the establishment of an evacuation center in every city, province and municipality throughout the country in order to ensure the safety and well-being of Filipinos during times of natural calamities and other disasters.

“Isa pa pong pinu-push ko itong mandatory evacuation center para mayroon na tayong permanenteng evacuation center tuwing may nasusunugan, baha, lindol, o bagyo. Minsan ginagamit [ang] mga eskwelahan. Papaano na pag normal na ang klase, wala na silang gagamitin na evacuation center?” he asked.

The measure, filed by the Senator on December 2019, sets the minimum requirements for every evacuation center, such as the location, amenities and accessibility, and operation and management, among others.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, or its successor, will act as the primary lead agency to oversee the implementation of the act should it be passed into a law.