SENATOR Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go co-sponsored the Fire Protection Modernization Bill in the Senate plenary on Wednesday, September 16, a measure which seeks to strengthen the mandate and capability of the Bureau of Fire Protection.
Go, who is the principal author of the bill, said that now is the right time to modernize the BFP, as he emphasized that the government should be proactive in combating any kind of catastrophe in the country.
“I have the honor to co-sponsor the Fire Protection Modernization Bill, which seeks to establish a Fire Protection Modernization Program to be implemented by the Bureau of Fire Protection,” Go said.
“Thus, it is fitting that our firefighters at the frontlines be given the best tools to ensure their own safety and the safety of our fellow countrymen,” he added.
Go commended his fellow Davaoeño Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Order, for prioritizing the bill. “I laud my fellow Davaoeño, Senator Bato dela Rosa, and this august chamber for prioritizing this vital measure to help our countrymen,” he said.
Under the Fire Protection Modernization Bill, the BFP will be responsible for implementing a fire protection modernization program, which would be beneficial not only to the firefighters, but also to the public.
“The said bill will include hiring of more personnel, acquiring modern fire equipment and training for our firefighters. It also mandates the BFP to conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drive in all local government units,” Go said. In his previous statements, Go cited latest data from the BFP, arguing for the urgency to resolve the pressing issue of fire hazards.
“In 2019, more than 16,000 fire incidents were reported throughout the country. These hazards were not only destructive to property but have even resulted to a number of deaths in a matter of minutes.”
The Senator also shared his experience of personally witnessing the devastating impact of these hazards to the lives of Filipinos. Go frequently visits fire victims in communities around the country to listen to their concerns and provide solutions to their daily struggles.
“Ako po mismo ay saksi sa hinagpis na nararamdaman ng ating mga kababayan na biktima ng mga sunog. Labis ang kirot na nararamdaman ng aking puso sa tuwing nakakakita ako ng mga pamilyang Pilipino na nawawalan ng bahay at mga mahal sa buhay dahil lamang sa mga sakunang gaya ng sunog na maaari namang maiwasan,” he previously narrated.
Meanwhile, Go promised to prioritize the welfare of those who are in dire need of assistance, especially the less fortunate and those who are considered in the vulnerable sectors. He also assured the public that he will continue visiting fire victims wherever they are in the country.
“Noon pa pong wala pang COVID-19 pandemic, pinupuntahan ko po ang mga nasunugan, kahit saang sulok ng Pilipinas para makapagbigay ng tulong at ngiti sa panahon ng kanilang pagdadalamhati,” Go said.
“Hanggang sa ngayon, patuloy pa rin po akong nagseserbisyo para sa kanila sa abot ng aking makakaya. Pinapaalala ko sa kanila na nandito ang gobyerno para magsilbi at hindi sila pinapabayaan,” he added.
Ending his speech, the Senator said that the passage of the measure will help the poor and vulnerable sectors prevent and mitigate the destruction of their dwellings and other properties.
“For these reasons, I reiterate my support for the passage of this measure,” Go said.
The Committee Report sponsored in the plenary took into consideration Senate Bill 204, which Senator Go authored and filed in 2019.
“Panahon na para i-upgrade ang mga pasilidad at kapabilidad ng ating Bureau of Fire Protection. Let us enhance our fire protection services and hire more personnel who are willing to dedicate their lives to ensure the safety of our communities,” said Go previously.
The bill also mandates BFP to conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drive in all local government units, particularly in informal settlements and economically depressed areas.
“Paghandaan natin ang anumang krisis o sakuna. Dapat maging mas proactive tayo. Bukod sa pagiging laging handa ng ating komunidad, dapat rin ay maging informed ang ating mga kababayan kung paano maiiwasan ang ganitong insidente tulad ng sunog,” Go explained.