“We cannot just sit back, relax, and watch government buildings burn.”
This according to Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, during the fire today at the University of the Philippines (UP) Shopping Center.
By virtue of Presidential Proclamation 115-A, the month of March was declared as Fire Prevention Month because of the alarming increase of fire incidents happening across the country during this particular period.
“The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), as the government agency mandated to prevent and suppress all kinds of destructive fire, should investigate its causes, enforce fire-related laws, and provide medical and emergency rescue services,” said Castelo.
The BFP should investigate the causes of fires, enforce fire-related laws, and provide medical and emergency rescue services,
“The BFP should anchor all the activities of the Fire Prevention Month towards fire safety at home and in offices, especially government buildings, by introducing innovative programs leading towards motivating the public to take fire safety as everyone’s concern,” added Castelo.
“Every Filipino should be responsible in maintaining and managing a fire-safe environment, not just during the Fire Prevention Month, but the whole year round,” lamented Castelo.
Every Filipino should be responsible in maintaining and managing a fire-safe environment.
The UP Shopping Center is the latest among structures in UP Diliman that has been razed to the ground. Other buildings that in recent years got burned down were the Narra Residence Hall (a dormitory for male students), the Faculty Center (that served as offices for teachers), the Alumni Center (that functioned as a bowling and billiards facility as well as a dormitory for student-athletes), and the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association (CASAA) Food Center (that hosted food stalls offering student-friendly and faculty-friendly prices).
“We should immediately implement a fire safety risk assessment of all government buildings in order to prevent or avoid similar incidents in the future. By failing to prepare, we are preparing to fail,” concluded Castelo.