The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) on Monday slapped a fine against five students caught deliberately triggering a fire alarm as a prank at the IT building of the College of Sciences.
The students were ordered to pay a fine of P4,000.00 as a first offense penalty prescribed under the Fire Code or Republic Act 9514.
City BFP fire marshal Senior Chief Inspector Nilo Caabay told Palawan News they imposed the sanction after meeting the students at the Office of Student Affairs (OSA).
“Ang malungkot kasi doon sa ginawa nila ay nag-post pa [sa Facebook], naglagay pa ng caption [na] ‘sa wakas natupad ko na rin ‘yong pangarap ko na marinig ‘yong tunog ng fire alarm’ parang ganoon. Then meron pang nakalagay na ‘directed by with cast.’ Malicious na talaga, malicious,” Caabay said.
“Na-obliga na rin kami na iparamdam sa kanila [ang mali nila] kasi ignorance of the law excuses no one. Kahapon nakausap namin ang mga bata with the presence of OSA (Office of Student Affairs) director [Grace Abrina] pati ang isang teacher. Naipaliwanag kung ano ‘yong na-commit nilang violation sa ating R.A. 9514. After maipaliwanag, ang sanction sa kanila based doon sa investigation, kasi ginawaan din natin ng report. Pinagmulta sila ng P4,000 ng BFP sa act na ginawa nila. First offense is P4,000 tapos second offense is P12,500 naman,” said Caabay.
Caabay noted that the one who took the video was the fifth student to be fined.
He reiterated it is a serious act a person must never commit “out of curiosity” for it can put other people’s life at risk.
“Ang purpose niyan (fire alarm) kapag may sunog saka lang siya gagamitin. Ang notion n’yan, kapag narinig mo ‘yan [na tumunog], merong sunog. Sabi ko nga sa mga bata, kung meron lang may edad na nakarinig within the building, kung may high blood ‘yan, baka ma-trigger, atakihin sa puso. Pangalawa, kung crowded ‘yong area kagaya ng mall, ay baka mag-cause ng stampede, ang consequence n’yan puwedeng may mamatay, may masasaktan,” said Caabay.
Caabay also pointed out that the five students are no longer minors.
Meanwhile, PSU president Dr. Ramon Docto said they will also impose upon the five students a week-long community service within the grounds of their university.
Docto said this will be done right after this week’s midterm exams.
He pointed out that the sanction will be in line with the PSU student guidebook that states the necessary punishments or disciplinary actions against students for the violations they will commit.
“Siguro dahil walang tao masyado, [kaya] ginawa nila ito, kasi wala namang masyadong klase ‘pag Sabado. Kung maulit pa ito meron na itong mga suspension. Actually, nagso-sorry din sila pero wala tayong magawa [dahil] nasa student manual ‘yan. Kinakailangan nating i-impose para sa susunod hindi na nila gawin. So, hindi sila makakapasok ng klase for five [consecutive] days [while doing community service],” he said.