A HOUSE leader is urging the House of Representatives to prioritize the modernization of the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP).
Tingog Sinirangan party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, chairperson of the House Committee on the Welfare of Children, made her call after a 17-hour fire hit Robinsons Place mall in Tacloban City Wednesday of last week.
According to Romualdez, there is a need to provide more fire trucks, fire stations and modernized firefighting equipment to the majority of towns in the countryside.
“I appeal to our government and Speaker Alan to prioritize all efforts aimed at modernizing the BFP for the best interest of the nation. Let us build fire stations and purchase modern equipment for our firefighters,” Romualdez said.
“Many towns in the countryside have been using old and dilapidated trucks,” she added.
Records showed that 26 out of 143 local government units (LGUs) in Eastern Visayas or Region 8 do not have fire trucks or fire stations
For his part, House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, husband of Yedda and chairman of the powerful House Committee on Rules, assured the public that the House of Representatives will find ways to help the BFP by looking for more funds “to embark on modernizing the equipment of fire fighters aimed at preventing the loss of lives and properties.”
“Our malasakit for BFP is always there to ensure public safety,” Martin, president of both the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) and the Lakas-Christin Muslim Democrats (CMD), said.
Yedda recognized the heroism of firefighters and volunteers whose “malasakit” (compassion) has been saving lives, homes, and property from destructive fires.
“Their act of bravery as firefighters is a greatest accomplishment already because they are involved in a very noble calling and indeed, they are very selfless people who put their lives on line. We should not forget them and we should always recognize and celebrate their heroism,” said Yedda, the former chairperson of the House Committee on Accounts during the previous 17th Congress.
She stressed that firefighters’ “unreliable safety equipment” should also be improved.
“The lives of our firefighters and fire victims are also in great danger if our firefighting equipment is not reliable,” she added. “For us to help prevent fire, we should always adhere to the promotion of public safety and follow safety measures.”
She also called for continued inspection of residential homes and buildings for possible fire hazards.