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January 20, 2015

THE MANILA STANDARD TODAY: Ty to Roxas: Explain P1-b new firetrucks

As high alert was imposed for the New Year revelry, the LPG Marketer's Association (LPG-MA) demanded that Interior Secretary Mar Roxas II explain why the P1-billion 117 new fire trucks were “missing in action”.

House Deputy Minority Leader and LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty said Roxas should disclose the list of cities and towns that received the P1-billion 117 new fire trucks, saying these have not been seen in service.

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

Ty said Roxas should divulge recipients of the P199.9 million for acquisition of 33 new fire trucks for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, where he lost to Jejomar Binay in 2010 vice presidential elections.

“Congress gave 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,” he said.

Ty said LPG-MA has been engaged in volunteer firefighting for years.  The group has its own fleet of fire trucks, complete with volunteer firefighters.

The 117 new fire trucks were allocated P1 billion under the modernization program of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in 2014 national budget, Ty said.

“Which local government units obtained the new fire trucks?  The public deserves to know, and (Interior and Local Government) Secretary Mar Roxas ought to satisfy their curiosity,” he said.

Ty's remarks came shortly after the BFP went on high alert for outbreaks due to mishandling of firecrackers during the New Year revelry.

According to Ty, a Filipino-Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigade member, Congress has 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.

Ty also backed Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon, who earlier questioned Item No. 5 in the P22.4-billion supplemental national budget for 2015, whivh gives the DILG another P199.1 million for the acquisition of 33 new fire trucks for the ARMM.

Ty said the LPG-MA has been providing additional fire trucks to communities.

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 municipalities.

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