BFP warns residents: water from firetrucks, not drinkable

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 13, 2019   •   2450

The Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) reminds residents not to drink the water from firetrucks, as several fire departments provided water to residents experiencing water shortage.

BFP Spokesperson Fcinsp. Jude del Rosario said that only the water from fire hydrants are safe to drink but they cannot assure the public about the water from their firetrucks.

“It’s not for drinking. Puwede pampaligo, panghugas ng plato. They have to boil it for one to two hours para masiguro na walang bacteria na nakasama before nila inumin o gamitin (It’s not for drinking, you can use it for bathing or cleaning the dishes. If they are going to drink it, they have to boil it for one to two hours to make sure there is no bacteria in it),” he said.

However, the BFP clarified that they are not mandated to provide water during water shortages unless the local government requests for it.

“Iyong pupunta lang kami doon para mag-provide, hindi iyan kasama sa mandate namin, kasi we don’t want to compromise our firefighting capability. The National Capital Region is the highly populated area na dapat naming mino-monitor. We are always on the alert status dito sa NCR (Going to residential areas to provide water is not our mandate. We don’t want to compromise our firefighting capability. The National Capital Region is a highly populated area that we are monitoring. We are always on the alert status here in NCR),” Del Rosario said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) calls on areas experiencing water service interruption to stay calm.

They are also ready to provide security in areas where water is rationed.

“Sa lahat ng mga kababayan natin ngayon na nasa pila palde at mainit ang ulo, ang amin pong pakiusap ay panatilihin ang kaayusan, kahinahunan ng isip at damdamin. Anytime po ay nakahanda ang PNP personnel na umalalay sa lahat ng mga distribution points sa buong Metro Manila at sa karatig na lugar (To all our fellowmen who are frustrated by the situation, please remain calm and maintain order. The PNP personnel is ready to assist in distribution points in Metro Manila and in nearby areas),” PNP Spokesperson Bernard Banac said.

Banac also encourages residents to be wiser when it comes to saving water.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Maynilad announces water service interruptions for March

Marje Pelayo   •   March 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Maynilad announced the latest schedule of water service interruptions for March 2020 due to the decreasing water level at Ipo Dam.

Maynilad explained that Ipo’s water level fell short of its maintaining level of 101 meters due to minimal runoffs from Ipo watershed in recent days.

This is despite allocation of raw water from Angat Dam remaining at 42 cubic meters per second.

Thus, Maynilad advises its customers to take note of the assigned schedule of rotational service interruptions for this month.

“Asahan ang mas mahigpit na pagpapatupad nito sa mga susunod na araw hangga’t hindi tumataas ang water elevation sa Ipo Dam (Expect strict implementation of the scheduled service interruptions in the coming days until water elevation at Ipo Dam improves),” Maynilad’s advisory said.

For this reason, the water concessionaire reminds affected residents to conserve water and store enough amount for domestic needs. (Complete list HERE.)

DILG wants firearms for firefighters issued this year

Robie de Guzman   •   February 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is looking to arm 29,286 firefighters of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) this year in line with the government’s drive against illegal drugs, criminality, terrorism and violent extremism.

“Maintaining law and order is not an easy task. Despite the decreasing crime rate in the country, having the BFP’s firefighters in our peace and order campaign is a boost and welcome addition in ensuring a safe and secure country,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement issued Wednesday.

The DILG chief said firemen will be armed with 9MM pistols to strengthen the government’s law enforcement campaign, and also for self-defense purposes as fire victims, out of frustration, sometimes gang up on fire personnel during firefighting operations.

“May mga pagkakataon na sa kagustuhan ng mga tao na unahing isalba ang kanilang nasusunog na bahay, kinukuyog nila ang mga bombero at nagkakagulo. Nais din naman nating protektahan at sundin ng mga tao ang ating mga bombero habang ginagawa nila ang kanilang trabaho,” he added.

Año believes the move is “timely and critical,” and in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive of engaging BFP’s help to maintain law and order and not to limit their roles to firefighting.

He also said that the BFP, along with the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, is permitted by law to assist government troops in times of national emergency if ordered by the president under the Republic Act 6975.

“The BFP also does law enforcement functions because they enforce the Fire Code so they already have some experience in this regard. The BFP can help ensure public safety, as a support to the PNP and AFP but of course, their primary responsibility is still preventing and suppressing fire and enforcement of the Fire Code,” he said.

Año revealed that the BFP has already requested funds from the Department of Budget and Management for the procurement of the firearms.

He also assured that firemen would undergo marksmanship and gun safety training before they will be issued their firearms.

“Hindi rin naman natin basta-basta aarmasan sila ng walang tamang training,” he said.

For his part, newly-appointed BFP Director Jose Segundo Embang said he welcomes the move to arm BFP personnel, adding that this is a necessary upgrade in terms of responsibilities and skills “to cope with the demands of the times.”

“Hindi na ito yong conditional firefighters na nakikita natin before. Ito na iyong mga modern heroes, kung makikita ninyo sa mga disasters. Hindi lang sa mga natural disasters but even during man-made disasters, kasi sila talaga ang first responders, sila ang cornerstone of emergency preparedness and response,” Embang said.

“Ngayon ay makakasama na kami sa pagpapanatili ng public safety,” he added.

Fire reduces around 100 houses in Quezon City to ashes

Maris Federez   •   January 1, 2020

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Around 100 houses were reduced to ashes as fire razed Barangay Vasra in Quezon City an hour before the turning of the new year.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said the fire immediately reached task force alpha on Palanas street at around 11 in the evening on Tuesday (Dec. 31) which left residents scurrying to leave the place with whatever household items they can bring.

Most of the households in the area were busy preparing for the new year festivities when the fire broke out.

The BFP firefighters declared fire out at past 1 in the morning.

Investigation on the cause of the fire is now in place said the BFP. — (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

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