The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) conferred the Medalya ng Pambihirang Paglilingkod (Degree of Datu) Special Award on Senator Bong Go in a recent ceremony marking its 28th Founding Anniversary and 118th Years of Fire Service held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
The Medalya ng Pambihirang Paglilingkod (Degree of Datu) Special Award was bestowed on Go by President Rodrigo Duterte together with BFP head Director Leonard R. Bañago and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.
The BFP has acknowledged that even before becoming a senator, Go has provided assistance to fire victims and often served as the President’s goodwill ambassador to fire victims.
“Masakit at masyadong mahirap po ang masunugan ng bahay at mawalan ng mga minamahal sa buhay dahil sa mga sunog. Parte po ng trabaho namin sa gobyerno ang magmalasakit, tumulong at magbigay ng mabilis, maayos at maaasahang serbisyo sa mga biktima ng ganitong mga sakuna,” Go said.
Through the said award, the BFP also acknowledged the senator’s initiatives in assisting the bureau in fulfilling its mandate by sponsoring a Senate bill that seeks to establish a Fire Protection Modernization Program, which will pave the way for the acquisition of modern and advanced fire equipment and training, and hiring of more personnel for the BFP—all designed to suppress all kinds of destructive fires and prevent deaths, injuries and damage to properties.
Having been immersed in the situation of fire victims especially those living in poor communities, he has filed for the 18th Congress his bill, the “Fire Protection Modernization Act of 2019.”
As of 2017, the BFP only has 2,674 fire trucks, 932 units short of the ideal number. Almost 400 municipalities have no fire trucks of their own. According to a Commission on Audit (COA) report, 1,094, or 39.3% of fire trucks owned by the government, were bought between 1950 and 1999. The useful life of a fire truck is between five to 15 years.
“There is a need for the BFP to strengthen its rules and regulations on giving building permits.”
“Kailangang mag-hire pa tayo ng mas maraming firefighters na merong mas maraming mga trainings para sa kanila. Kailangan din nating makabili ng mga modernong kagamitan at fire trucks upang matugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng bawat biktima,” Go added.
“BFP must regularly conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drives.”
He also emphasized that there is a need for the BFP to strengthen its rules and regulations on giving building permits, saying that, “Dapat masigurado natin na ang bawat gusali ay sumusunod sa mga guidelines na binibigay ng BFP.”
Moreover, Go urged the officers of BFP to regularly conduct monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drives, particularly in informal settlements and economically depressed areas. Fires often occur in these areas because houses are made of light materials and knowledge of fire prevention is limited.
Meanwhile, he expressed his steadfast commitment to continuously go around the country to help Filipinos victimized by calamities and tragedies such as fires.
“Kahit saang eskinita sa Pilipinas, pupuntahan ko para lang marinig ang mga hinaing ninyo. Mayroong pitong araw sa isang linggo, ‘yung apat para sa mga session at hearings sa Senado. Ang tatlong araw, pwede po akong mag-ikot para marinig ang mga hinaing ng mga tao,” Go uttered.
“Minsan lang tayo dadaan sa mundong ito. Kung ano pong tulong at kabutihan na kaya nating gawin sa kapwa, gawin na po natin ngayon dahil ‘di na tayo babalik sa mundong ito,” he added.