Senator Christopher Lawrence Go is promised to push the Fire Modernization Bill to help the Bureau of Fire Protection improve and modernize its equipment.
“I can really see that firemen lack the equipment, especially when responding to fire incidents,” he said in an interview.
The Fire Modernization Bill aims to establish a Fire Protection Service, along with rescue hotlines in all local government units. It will also upgrade the skills of the fire personnel so they can respond more effectively to disasters.
The senator also said that President Rodrigo Duterte is also advocating to modernize and improve the country’s fire bureaus.
“He (Duterte) is planning to arm the firemen so that aside from fire fighting, they can also help the campaign against criminality in the country.” the senator also said.
Although arming firemen is not included in the senator’s bill, he would consider the provision, if needed.
As of 2017, the BFP had 2,674 firetrucks or 932 units short of the ideal number for the whole country. Meanwhile, only 400 municipalities have their own fire trucks.
According to the recorded report of the Commission on Audit, at least 1,094 or 39.3% of these units owned by the government were purchased between 1950 and 1999. At least eight were acquired between 1950 and 1959. The average span of the firetruck’s usefulness is 5-15 years.