Three out of 30 barangays in Dumaguete City have been chosen as pilot areas in the implementation of the Oplan Ligtas Pamayanan program of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP). These are barangays Bajumpandan, Looc, and Motong.
Oplan Ligtas Pamayanan has four core programs which include Handang Pamayana, Bayanihan, Kaagapay, and Lingap.
Under Handang Pamayanan, the pilot barangays as well as the rest of the barangays are required to make a thorough hazard assessment of their respective areas.
According to the chief admin of the bureau of fire protection in Dumaguete SFO1 Earl Manny Uy, Bajumpandan was included due to the presence of at least 10 housing sites including Camella Homes, aside from the six puroks and the presence of sugarcane plantations and bushes.
Records show that the BFP has responded to several fire alarms in the barangay including bush fires.
Aside from assessment of the barangays concerned, pilot barangays are also required to conduct hazard evaluation and hazard elimination, come up with a community hazard map, and develop a community fire protection plan for tasking purposes.
Fire Officer Uy appeared during the regular session of Barangay Bajumpandan on Saturday to spell out the objectives of the program. The top priority is to increase the number of organized and trained communities as partners of BFP in preventing and suppressing destructive fires.
Instead of the barangay volunteer fire brigades, pilot barangays are encouraged to organize and train their respective Community Fire Auxiliary Group (CFAG) and that every housing site should also have their own fire auxiliary ground under the CFAG of the barangay.
Under the Kaagapay program, the BFP will conduct a seminar in every community with regards to fire safety, what to do in case of fires, and how to prevent fire occurrences among others.
SFO1 Uy said due to strict enforcement of RA 9514 otherwise known as the New Fire Code of the Philippines, fire safety inspection is strictly enforced during renewal of business permits.
The problem is in low cost housing sites where inspection is seldom undertaken unless complaints of hazardous practices are brought to the office by neighbors.
With the CFAG, house to house evaluation will be conducted to check on the electrical connection of residences as well as determine hazardous practices and advise them how to eliminate said hazards to reduce the possibility of a fire.
The fire officer stressed all concerned barangay officials have to undergo trainings and seminar workshops to be able to implement the Oplan.