Fire hits National Archives office

Maris Federez   •   September 6, 2021   •   298

MANILA, Philippines — A fire hit a part of the National Archives of the Philippines (NAP) on UN Avenue in Manila before dawn on Sunday (Sept. 5).

The Bureau of Fire Protection-National Capital Region (BFP-NCR) said the fire started on the sixth floor of the PPL Building along UN Avenue at 1:04 a.m. on Sunday where the administrative offices of the NAP were located.

The BFP said the fire reached the second alarm before it was declared fire out at 3:13 a.m.

The estimated damage to properties caused by the fire was P800,000.

The NAP, meanwhile, assured that no casualties were reported in the fire.

It added that the agency’s archival collections are safe as they are stored someplace else.

Further investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire. —/mbmf

DILG ensures peace, order in typhoon-stricken areas

Maris Federez   •   December 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has assured President Rodrigo Duterte and the whole nation that peace and order are maintained in areas that were hit by Typhoon Odette.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año made the assurance in his report to the President during the Talk to the Nation program aired Tuesday night.

Año said 14,203 personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP) were initially deployed for Typhoon Odette. This was aside from other police personnel sent by police regional offices to the different regions severely battered by the typhoon.

Police Regional Office (PRO)–5 personnel were sent to augment force in Region 8; while PRO-4A police were added to the force in Region 6.

PRO-1, 2, 3, and CAR police were sent to Region 7, and PRO 9, 10, 11, 12, and BARMM were sent to Caraga.

“Ito po ay para siguraduhin na ang ating peace and order ay mini-maintain. Tutulong sila sa rescue and recovery operations and also sa relief and rehabilitation effort,” Año said.

The Bureau of Fire Protection, meanwhile, has dedicated 10,674 personnel and sent fire trucks to the regions that were badly hit by Odette.

Victims Information Centers (VICs) were installed in fire stations where Odette families and relatives of Odette victims can go and ask about their loved ones on their condition and whereabouts.

“Pumunta lamang po sa pinakamalapit na fire station. Ibigay po ang mga detalye. Hahanapin po natin ‘yan kung saan po silang area at mag-fe-feedback din po ang ating Bureau of Fire Protection kung ano po ang nangyari sa inyong relatives,” Año said.

With their own DILG personnel also affected by Typhoon Odette, additional DILG field officers were deployed in the different regions and will serve as a bridge between national government agencies and local government agencies.

They are also in charge in supervising and managing the dead and the missing. —/mbmf

PNP welcomes new height requirement for uniformed personnel

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday welcomed the signing of a new law that lowers the minimum height requirement for aspiring members of the police organization and other uniformed services.

“We welcome this new height requirement for aspiring police officers and other uniformed personnel. Suportado po natin ang wisdom ng ating Pangulo dito,” PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar said.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) 11549 or the PNP, BFP, BJMP, and BuCor Height Equality Act on May 26.

The new law amends sections of three different laws, which set the general and standard qualifications for the members of the PNP, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

The law now sets the minimum height requirement of 1.57 meters or 5 feet 2 inches for male applicants, and 1.52 meters or 5 feet for females.

Eleazar emphasized that height and physical appearance should not be an obstacle for individuals who want to join the uniformed services.

“Kamiy natutuwa dahil sa totoo lang itong kagalingan ng pulis ay hindi nakikita sa kanyang height, sa kanyang kisig, gandang lalaki o gandang babae, nakikita yan sa kanyang dedikasyon, sa kanyang kwalipikasyon na inilabas ng NAPOLCOM at syempre base na rin sa ating gagawing paghuhubog sa kanila,” he said.

The PNP chief disclosed that he had already given instruction to police applicants whose height is under the current requirement but meets with the new minimum height requirement under Republic Act 11549.

“Merong mga nag-apply na kinapos sa existing height requirement pero pasok sa bagong minimum height requirement kaya nagbigay na ako ng instruction na yung mga nakapag-apply na ay i-accommodate at bigyan na rin ng QR Codes,” he said.

“Tutal ay online naman ang ating application, yung mga gustong mag-apply pa na yung height ay pasok sa bagong minimum height requirement na 5’2” sa mga lalaki at 5.0 feet sa mga babae, welcome po kayo at ipo-proseso naming ang inyong application,” he added.

Eleazar said they will seek guidance from the National Police Commission regarding the application of those whose height meets the minimum height requirement of the RA 11549.

RA 11549 will take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

The implementing rules and regulations of the law shall be promulgated within 90 days since its effectivity.

DOH working closely with BFP, other agencies to monitor hospitals after PGH fire

Robie de Guzman   •   May 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said it is closely coordinating with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and other concerned government agencies to prevent further fire incidents in hospitals amid the dry season and the coronavirus pandemic.

In a press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have reached out to the BFP, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and local government units (LGU) to place hospitals under close monitoring.

“Tayo po ay nakipag-coordinate sa iba’t ibang ahensya concerned katulad po ng DILG and local governments and also to coordinated with the Bureau of Fire Protection para magkaroon po ng monitoring across al[l our hospitals because we know that fire incidents are highest during the summer season,” she said.

Vergeire issued the statement after a fire hit part of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on Sunday.

The fire has directly affected a portion of one floor of PGH.

Vergeire said at least 12 patients were referred for transfer to other DOH hospitals. As of Monday, eight patients had already been transferred while the remaining four were being processed.

The DOH has also distributed K95 and N95 masks to the PGH since all of its personnel were required to wear this for 48 hours as smoke from the fire could still linger in the area.

“We were able to provide K95 and N95 masks to the PGH para kanilang magamit sa kanilang personnel because they were required to wear N95 masks for 48 hours kahit wala po sila doon as COVID areas because of the lingering o naka-suspend pa siyempre yung mga smoke diyan galing sa pagkakasunog,” she said.

“Ngayon po ating pinagtitibay (monitoring) para ma-prevent na po natin yung mga further incidents like this in the future,” Vergeire said.

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