Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael "Mike" D. Sueno challenged the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to make new innovative strategies in the issuance of fire permits to make it easier for business owners and other constituents. At the First BFP Firefighters Summit held at DILG central office in Quezon City, Sueno said, "we don't want the fire bureau to be exercising the old traditional practices, we are encouraging you to be innovative, yong bago, for the good of the public". "Pagbabago ang dapat dito sa BFP," he added. "Think of innovations, be creative, kung ano pa ang maganda na gagawin ng fire bureau para mapabilis ang issuance ng fire safety inspection certificates (FSIC) and fire safety evaluation clearances (FSEC) without compromising the safety of our people," he further said. The FSIC and FSEC are pre-requisites for a business or occupancy permit. He said there may not be enough fire safety inspectors to conduct inspections on all establishments particularly in Metro manila, where thousands of business establishments are located. "Dito sa Metro Manila, kaunti lang ang tao natin to investigate and inspect these establishments, unlike sa provinces, kaunti lang ang establishment". "How can we hasten these permits, so that businesses will continue to flourish and our economy will grow? Of course, you also have to bear in mind that while you have to deliver fast and efficient services, your top priority is the safety of our people," he said. He likewise cautioned fire officials to refrain from engaging in 'extra-curricular' activities like selling fire extinguishers. "Huwag naman tayong magbenta ng fire extinguisher, this is the common complaint sa fire bureau ng mga businessmen, at saka ang pag-issue ng fire safety, dapat walng pinapaboran, walang kinikilingan," he said. The summit is participated in by fire bureau officials and personnel, private volunteers group, and other government agencies. BFP-NCR Director SSupt. Wilberto Rico Neil A. Kwan Tiu said the topics included for discussion are: Role of LGUs in support to BFP's Mandate, Protocols of Maynilad, Manila Water, Meralco, PNP, Volunteer Fire Brigades as well as the Role of the BFP during Emergencies and in the Anti-Drug Campaign.
Source: Philippine Information Agency