WITH 23 affirmative votes, no negative votes and no abstention, the Senate has passed on third and final reading Senate Bill (SB) 1832 which seeks to modernize and improve the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) by enhancing its mandate, organization, and equipment.
SB 1832 is principally authored and co-sponsored by Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and principally sponsored by Senator Ronald dela Rosa, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order.
It is the consolidated version of SB 204 which is authored by Go, SB 947 authored by Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd , and SB 1017 authored by Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
SB 1832 mandates the BFP to implement a modernization program that will be geared towards the capability enhancement of its personnel, as well as the acquisition of the necessary fire prevention and suppression, fire investigation, emergency medical and rescue services facilities and equipment.
Under the program, the BFP shall be directed to submit to the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Local Government, and Budget and Management a revised organization structure of the Bureau. It will likewise establish new training programs and a qualification and upgrading program for its officers and personnel.
Meanwhile, Fire Protection Services and rescue hotlines will be established in every local government unit while specialized fire protection services shall also be created to respond to specific fire situations, such as chemical fires, high-rise building fires, forest fires, and ship and aircraft fires.
Search and Rescue Force and Hazardous Materials units, as well as fire and arson investigation units will be established in every region and city, and Emergency Medical Services in every municipality and city.
To improve awareness on fire safety among the public, monthly fire prevention campaigns and information drives will be carried out in partnership with the DILG and local government units.