MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 5, 2011) – A Filipino lawmaker on Sunday said four out of every 10 towns in the country have absolutely no firefighting capability.
Rep. Arnel Ty said the government has failed to build at least one fire station in every town as required by a 21-year old law.
He also cited a report that said at least 613 of the country’s 1,502 municipalities still do not have a single fire station.
“In the absence of immediate and adequate firefighting capabilities, human lives as well as properties in the affected municipalities are at grave risk of being lost and instantly destroyed in an accidental blaze,” Ty, a member of the House Committee on Public Order and Safety, said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.
He said Republic Act 6975, the 1990 law creating the Department of the Interior and Local Government, mandates the establishment of at least one fire station in every municipality nationwide.
He said Section 56 of the law states: “There shall be established at least one (1) fire station with adequate personnel, firefighting facilities and equipment in every provincial capital, city and municipality subject to the standards, rules and regulations as may be promulgated by the Department. The local government unit shall, however, provide the necessary land or site for the station.”
Ty also urged the House Committee on Appropriations and Committee on Local Government, to jointly look into the implementation of RA 6975, to “ascertain the conditions, financial or otherwise, that have prevented the DILG from establishing at least one fire station in every municipality, as required by law.”
In House Resolution 1228, Ty listed the regional breakdown of the number of towns per province lacking a single fire station: Cordillera: Abra (22); Apayao (3); Benguet (7); Ifugao (6); Kalinga (5); Mountain Province (6); Ilocos: Ilocos Norte (7); Ilocos Sur (16); La Union (10); Pangasinan (15); Cagayan Valley: Cagayan (6); Isabela (13); Nueva Vizcaya (7); Quirino (1); Central Luzon: Aurora (3); Bulacan (1); Nueva Ecija (4); Pampanga (5); Tarlac (4); Zambales (2); CALABARZON: Batangas (8); Cavite (3); Quezon (5); Laguna (5); MIMAROPA: Oriental Mindoro (11); Palawan (6); Romblon (10); Bicol: Albay (4); Camarines Norte (3); Camarines Sur (8).
And Catanduanes (7); Masbate (15); Sorsogon (7); Western Visayas: Aklan (10); Antique (12); Capiz (7); Guimaras (1); Iloilo (8); Negros Occidental (6); Central Visayas: Bohol (30); Cebu (5); Negros Oriental (10); Siquijor (3); Eastern Visayas: Biliran (3); Eastern Samar (13); Leyte (15); Northern Samar (6); Southern Leyte (9); Western Samar (8); Zamboanga Peninsula: Zamboanga del Norte (14); Zamboanga del Sur (22); Zamboanga Sibugay (7); Northern Mindanao: Bukidnon (6); Camiguin (1); Lanao del Norte (14); Misamis Occidental (8); Misamis Oriental (10); Davao: Compostella Valley (3); Davao del Norte (3); Davao del Sur (6); Davao Oriental (3); SOCCSKSARGEN: North Cotabato (6); Sarangani (3); South Cotabato (1); Sultan Kudarat (6); Caraga: Agusan del Norte (5); Agusan del Sur (8); Dinagat Islands (5); Surigao del Norte (12); Surigao del Sur (5); Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao: Basilan (9); Lanao del Sur (37); Maguindanao (25); Sulu (10); Tawi-Tawi (3).