A lawmaker has dared Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd to bare the list of cities and municipalities that received the 117 new fire trucks under the modernization program of the Bureau of Fire Protection (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,” House Deputy Minority Leader Rep. Arnel Ty of party-list LPG Marketers’ Association (LPG-MA) said on Monday.
“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 added.
“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,” the lawmaker said..
Ty’s remarks came shortly after the BFP went on high alert for accidental fires that may be caused by mishandling of firecrackers during the New Year revelry.
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.
Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon earlier questioned Item No. 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, where Roxas lost to now Vice President Jejomar Binay in the 2010 elections.
LPG-MA has been engaged in volunteer firefighting for years.
The group has its own fleet of fire trucks, complete with volunteer firefighters and 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 a number of municipalities.