^

Headlines

House probe sought on country’s forest fire fighting capabilities

Artemio Dumlao - Philstar.com
House probe sought on country�s forest fire fighting capabilities
A bushfire hit a large portion of Santo Tomas in Tuba, Benguet on Feb. 7, 2024.
The STAR / Andy Zapata

La Trinidad, Benguet — A lawmaker is calling on the House of Representatives to probe the government’s capability in combatting forest fires following the series of forest fires in Benguet province and elsewhere.

Rep. Eric Go Yap (Benguet, lone district), who has filed House Resolution No. 1603, is seeking answers on how government agencies are dealing with this kind of disaster.

 "With the recent surge in forest fires across various regions, (there is a) need for a robust and coordinated approach to forest fire management has become increasingly apparent,” he explained.

More than 20 forest fires have been recorded in Benguet this year so far. 

House Resolution No. 1603 urges the House Committee on Natural Resources to conduct an inquiry into the capacity and readiness of appropriate government agencies in dealing with forest fires. 

Yap said that the probe is geared “for the purpose of prevention and containment of such disasters as well as the immediate rehabilitation and/or reforestation of damaged areas.”

He added that the probe that would be launched by the House of Representatives “also seeks to address this pressing issue by assessing the preparedness and effectiveness of government agencies tasked with forest fire prevention, containment, and rehabilitation.”

“(We) are also requesting audience with DENR, OCD, and BFP to discuss their capacities and needs for intervention. In order to support maximizing the capacity of our fire trucks, we also turned over fire hoses to strategic fire stations in the province," the solon added.

The inquiry will focus on identifying any gaps or deficiencies in the existing framework for forest fire management and recommending legislative measures to address these shortcomings,  the Benguet lawmaker stressed.

Yap’s office is already closely coordinating with the barangays and LGUs in assessing the extent of the damage of the forest fires that recently broke out, “so as we can extend assistance to the families affected. Our Mobile Tulong is prepared to provide immediate aid, to distribute food packs and other necessities."

The Benguet lawmaker pointed out the importance of proactive measures in mitigating the impact of forest fires on communities, biodiversity and the environment while highlighting the need for a multi-faceted approach to forest fire management, encompassing both preventive measures and post-disaster interventions. 

Yap said the House inquiry to be launched also seeks to pave the way for evidence-based policies and strategies to mitigate the impact of forest fires and protect the nation's forests and safeguarding the country's natural resources and enhancing its resilience to environmental hazards. 

"Given that the air quality is deteriorating given the situation in vicinities near the forest fires, we encourage our Kakailyan to wear face masks and if required by the LGUs, to evacuate the area for their safety," he added.

Yap’s district office in Benget is also in the process of preparing the distribution of financial assistance to those families whose livelihood were affected by the forest fires.

 “We are gathering the list of affected families so they will be included in our next payout," he said.

vuukle comment

BENGUET

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Philstar
x
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Latest
abtest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with