Bill on Bureau of Fire modernization passed

THE House committees on public order and safety and on appropriations have approved a consolidated bill, including the proposed law of Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez and her husband, House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, seeking to modernize the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

The Romualdez couple welcomed the passage of the consolidated measure, underscoring the need to provide more fire trucks, fire stations and modernized firefighting equipment to the majority of towns in the countryside.

“The approval of the consolidated measure will effectively improve the institutional capacity of the Bureau of Fire Protection to ensure public safety,” the Romualdez couple said. 

“Many towns in the countryside have been using old and dilapidated trucks,” the Romualdezes said as they lamented that 26 out of 143 local government units (LGUs) in Eastern Visayas or Region 8 do not have fire trucks or fire stations.

Masbate Rep. Narciso Bravo Jr., chairman of the House committee on public order and safety, and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Yap, who chairs the House committee on appropriations, forwarded to the powerful House committee on rules led by Majority Leader Romualdez for approval Committee Report No. 421 containing House Bill No.  7406 or the proposed “BFP Modernization Act,” which is one of the priority measures mentioned by President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte in his State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) last July 27.

“The objective of the bill is to ensure public safety through the prevention and suppression of all kinds of destructive fires with the active support of the community,” said Bravo.

“Let’s us all work together to ensure public safety by modernizing our

BFP,” said Yap for his part. 

Majority Leader Romualdez assured the public that the House of Representatives will find ways to help the BFP by looking at for more funds “to embark on modernizing the equipment of fire fighters aimed at preventing the loss of lives and properties.”

“Our malasakit for BFP is always there to ensure public safety,” said Martin Romualdez, both president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) and the Lakas-Christin Muslim Democrats (CMD).

Yedda Romualdez, chairperson of the House committee on the welfare of children, recognized the heroism of firefighters and volunteers in the country whose “malasakit” (compassion) has been saving lives, homes, and properties from destructive fires.

“Their act of bravery as firefighters is a greatest accomplishment already because they are involved in a very noble calling and indeed, they are very selfless people who put their lives on line. We should not forget them and we should always recognize and celebrate their heroism,” Yedda Romualdez, former chairperson of the House committee on accounts during the previous 17th Congress.

She stressed that firefighters’ “unreliable safety equipment” should also be improved.

“The lives of our firefighters and fire victims are also in great danger if our firefighting equipment is not reliable,” she added. “For us to help prevent fire, we should always adhere to the promotion of public safety and follow safety measures.”

Yedda Romualdez also called for continued inspection of residential homes and buildings for possible fire hazards. 

The lady House leader extolled the spirit of volunteerism of the firefighting community, adding this should snowball the support to their mission in the name of public safety.

“We commend our 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 stressed.