Press Release
February 11, 2020

PRRD, Bong Go pushes for BFP modernization; join turnover of 74 fire trucks to LGUs

Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go attended on Tuesday, February 11 the turnover ceremony of 74 fire trucks to local government units (LGUs) at the Lapu-Lapu Grandstand of Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

The Senator accompanied President Rodrigo Duterte who handed the ceremonial keys of the fire trucks to three representatives from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

"These new equipment are testament to the government's full support for the BFP's mandate to promote public safety by saving lives and protecting property from destruction during natural and man-made disasters and other emergencies," the President said in his speech.

Go is the author of Senate Bill (SB) No. 204 or the proposed Fire Protection Modernization Act of 2019. In his welcome remarks, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) chief Jose Embang Jr. acknowledged the benefits of the proposed law.

"Hayaan ninyo akong pasalamatan ang ating mahal na Pangulo sa kanyang panawagan at suporta na maisulong ang modernisasyon ng Bureau of Fire Protection. Malaking tulong po ang PhP10-billion Fire Protection Modernization Act of 2019," Embang said. The amount is allocated in a bill pending in the House of Representatives.

The President has urged Congress in his fourth State of the Nation Address in July 2019 to pass a law mandating a modernization program for the BFP, along with several other laws.

Embang said that 287 or nineteen percent of the 1,489 municipalities in the country do not have fire trucks yet. "Sa aming hakbang tungo sa modernisasyon, layunin namin ang pagkakaroon ng bagong fire trucks at emergency vehicles sa bawat bayan," he emphasized.

At the BFP's 46th Fire Service Recognition Day on December 14, Go said that he is pushing for the passage of SB 204. "Kaagapay ninyo ako sa inyong mga hangarin...Isa ito sa sampung priority bills na inuna kong pinasa noong Hulyo."

SB 204 seeks to establish a Fire Protection Modernization Program to be implemented by the BFP and will include hiring of more personnel, acquiring modern fire equipment and trainings for firefighters, among others.

The bill also mandates BFP to respond to disasters and conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drive in all local government units, particularly in informal settlements and economically depressed areas.

"It is high time that we upgrade the facilities and capabilities of the Bureau of Fire Protection. Let us add more services and hire more men and women who would dare to become the respected and admired firemen and women of our nation," said Go.

Go also said in previous statements that he will push for the arming of firefighters so they can also help the government in its campaign against illegal drugs and criminality.

"I will study and check, nabanggit na rin ni Pangulo ang arming of firefighters. Makakatulong din sila sa paglaban ng kriminalidad at proteksyunan ang kanilang mga sarili. Pati sa kampanya laban sa droga, makakatulong din sila," said Go in an interview.

Go also shared before that he supported the plan to procure more fire trucks for the bureau. "Suportado ko po ang hangarin ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Duterte na i-modernize ang hanay ng BFP. Kaya naman, sa mahigit PhP22 billion budget ng BFP ngayong 2020, nagdagdag po tayo sa Senado ng mahigit PhP232 million during the (bicameral conference) para makabili ang BFP ng additional fire trucks," he said.

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