Mandated to put up fire stations with matching capabilities and personnel that could ably respond during fire incidents, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is in great disdain of the delay of the delivery of the procured fire trucks, due to a temporary restraining order (TRO).
Last October, the BFP bought 244 units of 1,000-gallons and 225 units of 500-gallon capacity fire trucks after a fair, legal and transparent bidding procedure.
However, one of the bidders, LDLA Marketing who was disqualified due to failure to meet the requirements, filed for a TRO, which was issued by the Makati City RTC Branch 66 Judge Joselito Villarosa.
“The issued TRO is baseless since the bidding for the concerned project was aboveboard”, BFP Public Information Services Chief, Supt. Renato B. Marcial said.
Marcial lamented that at least 530 fire stations in different municipalities in the country will continue not to have the necessary fire trucks.
Marcial also added that the BFP is exerting all its efforts to fill up the shortages within the Fire Bureau for an intensified workforce and fire suppression capacity through the leadership of Fire Director Ariel A. Barayuga which is part of the agency’s modernization program.
Some of Fire Director Barayuga’s thrusts are at least closed to a completion, such as the current recruitment of 1,200 new Fire Officers 1 that will somehow fill in the 31,000 shortage of firefighters in the BFP; the operation’s manual, which aims to have standard operating procedure for fire suppression, emergency medical and rescue operations; and an almost finished established organizational structure.
Recently, the National Housing Authority (NHA) in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and BFP awarded 817 housing units to BFP personnel, which according to DILG Undersecretary for Public Safety Atty. Peter Irving Corvera aims to defeat the irony of the duties of firefighters in saving lives and houses, but they, themselves don’t have their own houses.
Corvera also said that the procurement of 469 2-cab fire trucks is to lessen the road incidents that recently ended the lives of 4 firefighters in Davao City and also to fully equip various fire stations especially in the provinces with top of the line fire trucks to provide a better service to the public.
Nevertheless, the TRO is getting on the way for the BFP to completely execute their mandates and duties to the citizenry.