Bill taps PCSO, Pag­cor for ₧8-B BFP mod­ern­iza­tion

Business Mirror - - NEWS - Jovee Marie N. dela Cruz

TWO law­mak­ers are push­ing for a mea­sure man­dat­ing the Philip­pine Char­ity Sweep­stakes Of­fice (PCSO) and Philip­pine Amuse­ment and Gam­ing Corp. (Pag­cor) to al­lo­cate P8 bil­lion for the mod­ern­iza­tion of the Bureau of Fire Pro­tec­tion (BFP).

In House Bill 6383, or the “Fire Pro­tec­tion Mod­ern­iza­tion Act of 2015,” Party-list Reps. Gary C. Ale­jano and Francisco Ash­ley L. Acedillo of Mag­dalo said their pro­posal man­dates the ac­qui­si­tion of mod­ern equip­ment, which shall con­sti­tute the main thrust of the Fire Pro­tec­tion Mod­ern­iza­tion Pro­gram (FPMP).

“An amount of P8 bil­lion shall be al­lot­ted com­ing from the in­come of Philip­pine Char­ity Sweep­stakes Of­fice, Philip­pine Amuse­ment and Gam­ing Corp. and from the Gen­eral Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Act im­me­di­ately pre­ced­ing the ef­fec­tiv­ity of this act,” the bill said.

The FPMP shall be im­ple­mented for a pe­riod of three years and shall es­tab­lish a Fire Pro­tec­tion Ser­vice (FPS) to all lo­cal gov­ern­ment units with­out ex­ist­ing fire pro­tec­tion ser­vices.

The mea­sure also aims to es­tab­lish fire sta­tions and Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices (EMS) in all lo­cal gov­ern­ments.

Un­der the bill, the pro­gram shall es­tab­lish spe­cial­ized fire pro­tec­tion and ser­vices for high-rise build­ing fires, for­est fires, air­port and ship fires, chem­i­cal fires, dis­as­ter res­cue ser­vices and EMS.

More­over, it said FPMP shall up­grade fire-pro­tec­tion equip­ment, and es­tab­lish train­ing fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing per­son­nel de­vel­op­ment pro­gram from in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­cred­ited train­ing con­sul­tants and ad­vis­ers if ex­perts of equal qual­i­fi­ca­tion can­not be ob­tained lo­cally.

In terms of con­tracts and agree­ment, the sec­re­tary of the In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment (SILG) may en­ter into multi-year con­tracts, lease-pur­chase agree­ments or other con­trac­tual agree­ments with lo­cal or for­eign sup­pli­ers, the bill added.

The mea­sure also said the con­tracts shall be fa­vor­able to the gov­ern­ment and are sub­ject to ap­proval of the Pres­i­dent un­der pro­vi­sions of ex­ist­ing laws and reg­u­la­tions in­clud­ing from the Com­mis­sion on Au­dit. It added that chief Fire Mar­shall should sub­mit an an­nual re­port con­tain­ing the process of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the FPMP to the Pres­i­dent and Con­gress through the SILG.

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