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The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Palawan has already logged 53 fire incidents from January to the first week of March this year compared to the 24 on record for the same period last year.

BFP city fire marshall Chief Inspector Nilo Caabay, who represented provincial fire marshall Supt. Catalino Ramos, said during the Kapihan hosted by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) on Thursday that most of the incidents were caused by electrical circuits problems.

Meanwhile, Caabay said this summer and due to the impending El Niño phenomenon, their target is to put out fires immediately to prevent the use of too much water.

“Minsan may instances na nauubusan, kaya nga target natin na maapula agad ang apoy at mag-deklara ng fire out. Kasi kapag naubusan tayo ng tubig, lalaki na naman ang apoy n’yan kasi nga mawawala tayo ng ilang minutes dahil magre-refill, plus travel time,” Caabay pointed out.

He added that the water district has an important role to play during fire incidents.

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“Kaya malaki ang role nila, ng water district kasi nga kapag medyo nakita na malaki talaga ay agad coordinate na tayo sa kanila. So, pupunta sila at didikit na sa ating mga firetrucks. Hindi katulad kung tayo mismo ang aalis para mag-refill ay masyadong time consuming dahil magliligpit ka pa ng hose tapos ilalatag mo ulit,” he also said.

Caabay said that BFP personnel are also not allowed to avail leave privileges during the summer season because of the possibility of a fire incident happening.

“Mas mataas po ang kaso natin ngayon compared last year. Kaya ang mga tao natin kapag mga ganitong panahon ay binabawi natin ang leave privilege kasi baka kumulang kapag nagka-emergency,” he said.

The BFP in Palawan has 25 firetrucks, including 11 trucks of local government units, and 227 personnel which are not enough for the operation of the BFP.

He also reminded that the community has a big role in preventing fire incidents from happening because the BFP could not act without help from the public.

“Minsan kasi ang nasisisi ay si BFP kapag nagka sunog. Hindi naman naming alam na nagkakasunog sa area nila. Kaya we encourage them na gampanan ang role nila by informing us kasi hindi namin nahuhulaan kung saan ang sunog. Minsan may tatawag may sunog sa San Jose, ang lawak niyan, so saan banda? Kaya minsan d’yan nagtatagal  ang respond time natin,” he said.

He said they are implementing the “three-ring call policy” as they consider all calls as an emergency.

“Sinasabi nga natin na bawat segundo ay dumodoble ang laki ng apoy kaya ganyan talaga dapat three rings palang masagot na namin kasi we assume that all calls are emergency,” Caabay said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.