From BusinessWorld December 13, 2011
THE COUNTRY is lacking in fire-fighting equipment and the government is dependent on private funding to service fire stations, President Benigno S. C. Aquino III said yesterday.
“Sa 1,496 na munisipyo sa buong bansa, 642 pa ang walang istasyon ng bumbero. Kung susukatin po ayon sa populasyon, kailangan ng Pilipinas ng 3,425 na truck, at sa ngayon po ay 1,526 lang ang operational sa mga truck natin [Out of 1,496 municipalities nationwide, 642 do not have fire stations. Based on population, the Philippines needs 3,425 trucks but right now we only have 1,526 operational trucks),” said Mr. Aquino during the silver anniversary of the Association of Volunteer Fire Chiefs and Fire Fighters.
Mr. Aquino noted that fire prevention efforts are largely assisted by volunteers who assist the Bureau of Fire Protection and Safety in the National Capital Region, and the patrons who contribute to the cause.
“Tuwing nagtatalumpati ako sa harap ng mga dalubhasa’t propesyonal sa iba’t ibang larangan, ang madalas ko pong panawagan: mag-ambag kayo para sa ikabubuti ng kalagayan ng inyong kapwa [Whenever I address professionals in various sectors, I always call for contributions to better the situation of your fellowmen],” the President said.
Mr. Aquino noted that from January to October, volunteer fire fighters had responded to more than 400 incidents, and almost 700 situations required rescue and paramedic assistance, apart from promoting fire and disaster awareness, rescue training, disaster aftermath assistance and medical missions.
“Hindi po biro ang tulong na ibinibigay ninyo sa gobyerno, lalo pa’t marami-rami pa po tayong kailangang bunuin upang mapatibay ang sektor ng Fire Prevention and Safety, dahil na rin tila nakaligtaan ito ng gobyerno sa loob ng mahabang panahon [The assistance that volunteers give to the government is no light matter, especially because we need to address so many issues to strengthen our fire prevention and safety, because in the past years, this seems to have been neglected by the government),” Mr. Aquino said.