MANILA — With the annual observance of Fire Prevention Month this March, a lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Thursday reiterated the call for the national government to modernize the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
In an interview, Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez commended the country’s firefighters and volunteers “whose proudest moments are to save lives, homes and properties.”
“They are always there, night and day, for us and not giving up the battle despite physical limitations and lack of support for their welfare,” she said.
“They are involved in a very noble calling and indeed, they are very selfless people who put their lives on line. It is important for us not to forget them. Instead, we should always recognize and celebrate their heroism,” Romualdez said.
The chairperson of the House Committee on Accounts said the best way for the nation to reciprocate their bravery and compassion is to provide firefighters with modern equipment.
“The lives of our firefighters and fire victims are also in great danger if our firefighting equipment is not reliable,” she said.
“We have to seriously invest more in modernizing the BFP for the best interest of the nation. Let us build fire stations and purchase modern equipment for our firefighters,” she added.
Romualdez also called on Congress to appropriate the needed funds for the modernization of the BFP.
She also stressed the need “to provide fire trucks, fire stations and modernized firefighting equipment to majority of towns in the countryside,” citing a recent fire incident in Barangay Narra in Catarman, Northern Samar where the Tingog party-list conducted a relief operation for the victims.
A total of 81 families were affected by the fire, with 61 houses totally damaged and 20, partially destroyed.
Meanwhile, Romualdez urged the BFP to continuously inspect residential homes and buildings for possible fire hazards.
Noting that most fire cases were caused by careless behavior, she also called on government to enhance its public awareness campaign through seminars, public leaflets and handouts containing safety tips on fire prevention.
“For us to help prevent fire, we should always adhere in the promotion of public safety and follow safety measures,” she said.
“The public should also do their share by always staying vigilant against fires. Let us all continue to learn and educate our neighborhoods in preventing fire incidents,” Romualdez said. Jose Cielito Reganit/PNA-northboundasia.com