November 13, 2023
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos has declared that more local government units (LGUs) in the country are now better equipped in case of fire incidents and other emergencies that might require immediate assistance from firefighters and first responders.
Abalos reported that as of September this year, some 1,484 cities and municipalities now have fire stations.
He elaborated that 72 new fire stations were constructed in just over a year since he assumed office in July 2022, leaving only 150 LGUs without fire trucks and fire stations.
“Hindi biro ang masunugan kaya talaga namang sinisikap natin katuwang ang Bureau of Fire Protection na mabigyan lahat ng ating mga bayan at lungsod ng kakayahan upang malabanan ang mga sunog at makatugon sa iba pang mga sitwasyon na nangangailangan ng kanilang agarang pagtugon,” Abalos continued.
Of the 150 LGUs, six have newly constructed buildings for operationalization, 16 are ongoing construction, and the remaining 128 LGUs are recommended for priority construction.
At the same time, Abalos said the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) now has a total of 2,912 firetruck units of different water-carrying capacities, of which 465 new 1,000-gallon trucks were obtained through bulk procurement since 2022.
“With more fire stations and modern fire trucks, the response time of the firefighters in case of fire will be shortened from the standard seven minutes for every kilometer and about seven minutes per 2.5 kilometers in Metro Manila due to traffic congestion,” he said.
According to Abalos, the construction of more fire stations and the purchase of fully modernized fire-fighting tools and lifesaving equipment are part of the strategic move towards BFP modernization.
Republic Act 11589 or the BFP Modernization Act of 2021 provides that the BFP, in coordination with the DILG, shall enhance the capability of its personnel, acquire state-of-the-art fire prevention, fire suppression, fire investigation, and emergency medical and rescue services facilities and equipment.
It also broadens the BFP’s mandate by including fire prevention and suppression in economic zones, disaster risk response, and emergency management.