Issue of March 11, 2018

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Benguet’s towns all have fire trucks
by Ofelia C. Empian

NEW FIRE TRUCK -- All towns in Benguet now have their own fire trucks as the municipality of Tublay led by Mayor Armand Lauro (6th from l) received the brand new fire suppression vehicle from the provincial government of Benguet led by Gov. Crescencio Pacalso recently. The event included the blessing of the newly activated Bureau of Fire Protection office in the municipality. The event was also graced by BFP-Cordillera Chief FS/Supt. Lilibeth Simangan (4th from l). -- Ofelia Empian

Finally, all the towns in Benguet have their own fire trucks, as the provincial government turned over the brand new fire suppression vehicle to the municipality of Tublay last week.

Gov. Crescencio Pacalso led the turn over ceremony of the P4.5 million-worth fire truck to the municipality to be used by the newly opened Bureau of Fire Protection office last March 5.

“This is part of our program, since the report of the BFP and PNP is that they are in need of vehicles, so we added it in our public safety plan. At least we can make it as one fire truck and one police pickup every year per municipality, while we wait for what the national government will give to us,” Pacalso said.

He said Tublay is the first recipient of their public safety program while the Benguet Police Provincial Office director’s office is the first to be given a patrol vehicle to be followed by other towns.

He said their next direction would be to look for the towns with old fire trucks that need replacing.

Tublay is the last town of Benguet to activate its fire station November last year. To date there are nine staff members manning the area in two shifts led by OIC Fire Marshall Jade Guinyawan. The Tublay BFP is temporarily housed adjacent to the town’s sangguniang bayan building with the municipal gym as the temporary parking area of the new fire truck.

Mayor Armand Lauro earlier said the fire station would be constructed near the municipal hall. He said the local government has allocated a 250-square-meter area for the station out from the 600 square meters from the newly acquired municipal lot near the compound of the town hall in Barangay Caponga.

BFP-Cordillera head FS/Supt. Lilibeth Simangan said her office has requested for the town to provide an area that would be in the town center.

“The request for budget was already forwarded to the national headquarters and I was informed that Tublay will be the next priority once a budget is released,” Simangan said.

She said the national headquarters is planning to acquire 241 units fire trucks to be distributed nationwide.

“I asked the governor (Pacalso) if he can ask para medyo dumami naman ang ibigay sa Cordillera,” she said. 

She said there are still 17 towns in need of fire trucks – 14 in Abra, two in Ifugao and one in Apayao. While waiting for the national headquarters, she said BFP is working for the 10 donations coming from their respective local government units.

Along with the fire trucks, Tublay also received a brand new patrol vehicle courtesy of the Philippine National Police general headquarters.

Lauro thanked the provincial government and the PNP for the vehicles, which could be used for the various responses of the local police station and the BFP in the municipality.

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