Cebu News

Establishment of Capitol fire station eyed by 2016

Michael Vencynth H. Braga - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – The Bureau of Fire Protection-7 is aiming to have the establishment of a proposed fire station inside the Capitol compound realized by next year.

Senior Superintendent Ismael Codilla, BFP-7 director, said they have coordinated with the Capitol to facilitate the donation of a property where the fire station could be constructed.

The Capitol and BFP-7 are eyeing to utilize the 4,200-square meter Bureau of Agriculture extension (Baex) property inside the Capitol which has been standing idle and deemed unusable after it suffered damage from the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in 2013.

The Baex building used to house the offices of the Provincial Auditor, Provincial Women’s Commission, Provincial Tourism, and Department of Interior and Local Government-Cebu.

Codilla said the fire station would only utilize a space that is enough to accommodate one firetruck.

He explained that there is a need to put up a fire station inside the compound to ensure the safety of the Capitol building.

“Because Capitol is a vital building. There is a need to guard it 24/7,” he told reporters.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III welcomed the idea of putting up a fire station inside the compound, noting its importance in responding to emergencies in nearby barangays in Cebu City where the Capitol building is situated.

He said the province has initially identified part of the old Baex building to be utilized as fire station. The Capitol set aside at least P50 million in its budget this year for the construction of the building.

The province is planning to replace the old building with a new high-rise structure that would have both public and commercial purposes.

Meanwhile, Codilla also urged other local government units to respectively identify a lot where a fire station could be erected so they will receive a brand new firetruck from the national government.

“Municipalities have to donate at least 315 square meter lot before they can be given a unit of firetruck, because there is an upcoming distribution of firetrucks. We have to prioritize kadtong naa na’y lot donation,” he said.

He disclosed that the national government through the Department of Interior and Local Government already procured 469 firetrucks, 80 of which were already turned over nationwide with Central Visayas getting three units for Negros Oriental, Tuburan in Cebu, and Sierra Bullones in Bohol.

He said there are 80 more units set to be turned over to the LGUs in the next wave of distribution.

BFP-7 reported that Cebu has 13 municipalities which do not have fire stations yet, namely, Alcoy, Pilar, Alegria, Ronda, Samboan , Sta. Fe, Madridejos, Alcantara, Catmon, Asturias, Borbon, Tabogon and Santander

Officials of BFP -7 met Davide yesterday at the Capitol to discuss the province’s donation of a lot in Barangay Lahug to be utilized as regional office of the BFP-7.

Davide said the province is willing to donate a lot but he would discuss the matter with the Provincial Board first. —/NSA (FREEMAN)

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