Petition to Modernize Firefighting in the Philippines

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We petition for the modernization of firefighting in the Philippines through a budget of Php 8-Billion.

The Situation

Six people have been declared dead and at least eighteen others injured when a fire engulfed Manila Pavilion Hotel last March 18, 2017 (1). This tragedy is only a small excerpt of the annual casualty caused by fires. According to GMA News, a total of 1,217 fire incidents were recorded in Metro Manila for the first quarter of 2017 alone, yielding damages worth Php 158.4- Million (2). Fires are no longer just phenomena, but battles endured and fought. Although whoever wins, it is hard to decide.

The Problem

Philippine Fire Stations are underutilized. We do not doubt the courage and drive of our country’s noble firefighters, but we acknowledge there are barriers that hold them back. BFP spokesperson, Chief Inspector Ian Manalo, revealed last year that our firefighters are underequipped (3).

BFP EQUIPMENT SHORTAGE*

Quezon City Deputy Fire Marshall Noel Gagalac admitted that not only are stations lacking in arms but in manpower (4). Even now, a year later, we continue to experience this shortage (5). The officials try their best to amend this, but the truth remains. Heroism without support cannot save a country.

The Solution

March 2018, Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano saw the issue and sought to address it. He proposed a fund of Php 8- Billion for the improvement and modernization of Philippine firefighting (6). As of now, his proposal remains to be acknowledged despite its numerous benefits.

This fund could be the means to start the evolution of Philippine fire protection. It would address the shortage of equipment and allow for more intensive Fire Prevention and Awareness Programs. More stations and better transportation would be considered to ensure the ideal response time of seven minutes or less. Additionally, modernization would inspire the youth to be a part of this fight, to protect their fellow citizens. It would ensure that firefighters who charge bravely into deteriorating buildings billowing with smoke charge with our full support behind them.

The Call

Change is one click away, and just like a flame, it starts with a spark. We urge you not to stand by, but to stand among us in this movement. Your name has the potential to be part of something bigger. Will you allow it?

 

Sources
(1):  http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/03/21/18/6th-victim-of-manila-pavilion-fire-dies
(2):  http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/607415/bfp-less-fire-incidents-but-more-casualty-damage-in-q1-of-2017/story/
(3):  https://www.rappler.com/nation/177776-fire-incidents-halved-duterte-first-year-bfp
(4):  https://www.rappler.com/nation/164590-firefighters-qc-fire-district-profile
(5):  https://www.untvweb.com/news/bfp-admits-shortage-of-fire-trucks-and-firefighters/
(6):  http://www.journal.com.ph/news/nation/solon-proposes-p8-b-fire-bureau-modernization
(Image): https://cdni.rt.com/files/2017.02/article/589b0501c361883c528b4629.jpg



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