MANILA, Philippines — To boost the firefighting capability of local fire stations and the mobility of policemen in support of law enforcement and internal security operations, President Benigno S. Aquino III led on Monday the distribution of 135 newly procured fire trucks to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and 144 new patrol jeeps to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
According to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the procurement is part of the administration’s continuing commitment to modernize and enhance the capability of the PNP, BFP and other public safety services.
The President was accompanied by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento during the simple turnover ceremony at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.
The first as well as the second batch of the fire trucks were already distributed last year, while the third batch of 155 units were turned over to the recipients last Feb. 19.
DILG said this is the biggest fire truck procurement in the history of the BFP with a total of 469 units that amounted to Php2.5 billion. Of the total number of fire trucks, 244 units are with 1,000-gallon capacity and the rest with 500-gallon capacity.
“These new additional fire trucks will aid in the filling up of shortages on its assets and will intensify the fire suppression capability of the BFP. It will not only boost the capability of our firefighters; it will also help them to be more effective and efficient in performing their mandated task. Similarly, these new equipment will also lift the morale of our firefighters because their dilapidated fire trucks will be replaced by the new ones,” President Aquino said as he emphasized the importance of the acquisition of the additional fire engines.
With the standard ratio of 1:28,000 or one fire truck for every 28,000 population, the BFP still needs at least 1,000 fire trucks to achieve the lacking requirement. At present, there are 2,215 fire trucks being utilized by the BFP all over the Philippines, catering to almost 100 million population.
At the culmination of the Fire Prevention month, the BFP had recorded at least 1,909 fire incidents nationwide with Php169.3 million worth of damage for the month of March 2016.
It reflected a significant drop in number compared to last year’s 2,869 fire incidents with a total of Php419.2 million worth of damage.
Meanwhile, the 144 new patrol jeeps are part of the 186 units of 4×2 Mahindra Enforcer patrol jeeps which were recently procured as repeat order from the savings generated from the procurement of 1,470 patrol jeeps sourced out from the Capability Enhancement Program (CEP) fund from 2011 to 2013.
According to DILG, these vehicles are expected to provide substantial police presence, general transport capability, and other emergency response capabilities to the police force of the CARAGA Region.
On top of the 144 units that were distributed by President Aquino, 27 units were already turned over to the municipal, city and regional PNP units which were not covered in the initial procurement of 1,470 patrol jeeps.
The remaining patrol jeeps were initially assigned to the PNP logistics support service. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA / northboundasia.com