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January 8, 2015

BUSINESS MIRROR: Lawmaker asks Roxas Where are the new fire trucks

A PARTY-LIST lawmaker on Tuesday urged the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to make public the list of cities and towns that received the 117 new fire trucks, as the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) goes on alert for fires ahead of New Year revelry.

House Deputy Minority Leader Arnel Ty said at least 117 new fire trucks were distributed to several cities and towns under the modernization program of the BFP.

“Congress gave the DILG a total of P1 billion for the acquisition of the 117 fire trucks. People are starting to ask where these new [firefighting] vehicles are. They haven’t seen the trucks responding to fire emergencies,” said Ty of the LPG Marketers’ Association (LPG-MA) party-list group.

Congress previously authorized the funds for the DILG to procure 34 units of 1,000-gallon fire trucks, 18 units of 2,500-gallon fire trucks, and 65 units of 500-gallon mini pumpers for the BFP, according to Ty, a Filipino-Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigade member.

“When there are blazes, people don’t see the new trucks in action as first responders. What they see right away are the trucks of the Filipino-Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigades,” Ty said.

Ty’s statement came shortly after the BFP went on high alert for accidental fires that may be caused by the mishandling of firecrackers during the New Year revelry.

“Which localities obtained the new fire trucks? The public deserves to know, and [Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II ought to satisfy their curiosity,” Ty added.

In Metro Manila, LPG-MA has donated a total of 50 fire trucks, mostly to Filipino-Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigades.

In Cagayan Valley, the group has contributed 18 new fire trucks to an even number of towns.

Party-list Rep. Terry Ridon of Kabataan earlier questioned Item 5 in the P22.4-billion Supplemental National Budget for 2015, which gives the DILG another P199.1 million for the acquisition of 33 new fire trucks for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

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