Año said they are looking at around P800 million to P900 million for the acquisition of firearms for BFP personnel.
Boy Santos/File
Arming of BFP seen this year
Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - January 28, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte’s plan to arm members of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) will push through this year, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said yesterday. 

Año said they are looking at around P800 million to P900 million for the acquisition of firearms for BFP personnel.

He said he confirmed the plan with the President during a visit to Leyte last week. 

“The President’s plan to arm the BFP will push through. Let us finalize the requirements and documentations very soon so we can have the available fund,” he said during the oath-taking of newly appointed BFP director Jose Segundo Embang.

Año said they are looking to fast-track the bidding and procurement process that could see the 29,000-strong BFP armed within the year. 

He said the BFP could help the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in ensuring public safety, aside from their main responsibility in preventing and suppressing fires.

“Of course their main job is suppression of fires and emergency responders but it is good to know that our BFP are prepared and they have side arms whenever they perform their missions,” he said. 

Duterte in August last year said that he wanted to arm firefighters to help the police and the military “hunt and kill enemies of the state.” 

The BFP is mandated to assist the AFP upon the direction of the President. 

Embang expressed support for the plan, saying the changing peace and security landscape in the country merits the move. 

EDUARDO AñO
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