April 17, 2024

The Bureau of Fire Protection-Cordillera region will build a fire station in each of 12 municipalities in Abra within five years under its 10-year modernization program.

BFP-Cordillera Fire Senior Supt. Robert Pacis, in an interview on the sidelines of the 2024 BFP Fire Olympics in Baguio City, said under the program, towns with existing fire stations would each be provided with additional personnel and a fire truck to boost their capacity to respond to fire incidents.

“Fast and immediate response can save lives and property,” Pacis said.

The 12 fire stations to be constructed in Abra are part of the 123 stations to be constructed nationwide.

Pacis said the BFP has been tasked to also provide emergency medical service, thus their personnel are given training on emergency rescue and medical service,

BFP national director Louie Puracan, in an earlier interview, said only 123 municipalities out of the 1,485 nationwide do not have a fire station, mostly in urban areas.

He said local government units in these areas are having a difficult time allocating a lot that needs to be donated to the BFP for the construction of the firehouse due to the lack of available land or the cost of the land.

“Our (Department of the Interior and Local Government) Sec. (Benjamin Abalos, Jr.) is very aggressive on this, talking to mayors to allocate land. Our challenge is urban areas like National Capital Region, Cebu, Davao, and Baguio, which need more than one fire station but the cost of land is barring the donation,” he said.

Aside from the construction of the fire stations, also included in the modernization program is the purchase of fire trucks, targeted to be distributed within five years starting this year.

“In 2022 and 2023, we have distributed about 300 fire trucks, and with a guaranteed fund approved when the modernization program became a law, we are assured of better services from the BFP,” Puracan added.

Under Republic Act 11589, or the Bureau of Fire Protection Modernization Act, financing for the modernization program will come partly from a trust fund to be financed from the national budget, BFP’s 80 percent share in all taxes, fees, and fines it as collected, and proceeds from the disposal of excess and uneconomically repairable assets, among others. – PNA