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PIA Press Release

BFP conducts fire hazard and safety inspection on Baguio hotels, inns

by Lito Dar and MC Acmo

Baguio City (13 February) -- With the summer season already being felt all over the country and with the start of the 15th staging of Panagbenga or Baguio Flower Festival, tourist arrivals to this Summer Capital is rapidly increasing.

In support to the city's tourism sector and to ensure the safety of the tourists that are coming in, the Bureau of Fire Protection is already conducting fire hazard and safety inspection on all hotels and inns in the city.

Newly installed BFP City Fire Marshall, Senior Superintendent Richard Villanueva, in an interview said they are applying a pro-active approach and ready to serve as a 24/7 fire department. Conducting inspections on all hotels and inns in the city is our priority program right now," he said.

Villanueva, who just assumed his post last month, stressed that due to an existing administrative order from the city government of Baguio, only small or "sari-sari" store pass through the BFP, for fire safety inspection certificate before the issuance of business permits. "Ang mga hotels, restaurants and other big business establishments, hindi dumadaan sa amin, dahil sa naturang administrative order," Villanueva said.

According to Villanueva, they will be furnish the establishment owners with a copy of their fire hazard and safety inspection report plus the necessary recommendations if a deficiency is found.

Villanueva also stressed that under the Fire Code of 2008, the BFP is given the authority to impose the law or to close any establishment that will violate the said fire code. "For any establishment who will not comply with the given recommendations in line with the Fire Code of 2008, we will recommend their closure to the city officials and if the city government would not act on it, then we will be force to impose the law," he added.

In line with the national government's preparation for the El Nino phenomenon, Villanueva stressed that they are planning to go to the communities especially to the areas which are prone to grass and forest fires to conduct fire hazard and safety lectures.

Based on the 2009 data of BFP-Baguio, most of the fire incidents happened during the summer, 36 incidents during the first quarter and 27 in the second quarter of 2009. Villanueva also stressed that majority of the reported fire cases were mostly grass, thrash or wildfire and with only one report of structural fire.

Villanueva also reported that in 2009, they have recorded a total of 85 fires, which shows a significant increase compared to the 47 cases BFP-Baguio recorded in 2008.

For the origins of the fire cases, Villanueva said 21 were electrical in origin, 8 were forest fire, 29 open flames, nine smoking related, one firework related, five LPG- related, two from unknown origin while 10 are still under investigation.

In preparation for the observance of Fire Prevention Month this March, BFP-Baguio is now in full preparation in terms of its equipment and personnel. Villanueva also assured that they are always ready to respond in any uncalled eventuality of fire.

Villanueva also stressed that the two fire trucks of Sunshine supermarket, water delivery business in the city and the BFP fire trucks in the nearby municipalities are also ready to help anytime. (PIA) [top]

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