Dubbed as “Oplan Ligtas SA Pamayanan,” this is in response to the ever growing demand for a more adoptive, comprehensive and immersive fire protection program for the communities, rural and urban villages and barangays. It targets the most basic issue of the root of the problem, uncontrolled and ever-increasing fire incidents in residential areas.
Based on the statistics presented by Fire Senior Inspector Francisco Copes in a meeting of the Municipal Peace and Order Council, the five-year data from 2014 up to early this year on fire incidents in this town showed structural fire, mostly residential houses, as the highest at 60 percent followed by forest and grass fires at 40% and vehicular fire at 10%.
“We have no power to conduct inspection in private dwellings unless the owner will request or give consent to conduct inspection but only authorized personnel and not anybody, otherwise we will be charged with trespassing,” he said.
Copes explained that Oplan aims to decrease the occurrence of fires in the most vulnerable parts of communities and reduce number of fire-related deaths and injuries, encourage communities to develop their own community fire protection plan, establish strong partnerships between LGUs in enforcing fire-related laws, and increase the number of trained and organized communities to be ready and prepared in fire prevention and fire suppression.
One of its features is the Bayanihan program. This establishes the creation of community fire auxiliary group or community brigade towards a safe home and community. Its main responsibility is to respond to localized fire incidents as BFP responding teams are in transit and to promote community safety through guided activities of the bureau.
Firefighters called “Bumbero ng Pamayanan” will be immersed in the community to establish strong partnerships and deep concern for the residents. They are likewise expected to rekindle the spirit of bayanihan among the residents to establish the very foundation of the program, said Copes.
A house-to-house fire safety survey will also take place in densely-populated residential communities, neighborhoods, settlements and areas identified as fire-prone. “LINGAP” (Pangkaligtasan na Pagsisiyasat at Pagbibigaya alam sa bawat tahanan) is a deterrent measure in identifying high-risk areas in the community considered most vulnerable.
Copas informed the body that the project will be piloted either in barangay Betag or Lubas.
Mayor Romeo Salda said the local government will look into the municipal and barangay counterpart for the implementation of the program. (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)
By Susan C. Aro