(L-R): Fire Director Leonard R. Bañago, Chief, Bureau of Fire Protection; Epimaco V. Densing III, Undersecretary for Operations, DILG; and Steven Tan, Chief Operating Officer, SM Supermalls during the Fire Prevention Month Culminating Activity at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) partnered with SM Prime Holdings, Inc., to promote community preparedness and resiliency against fire incidents.

To seal the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed during the BFP’s Fire Prevention Month Culminating Activity at the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

The MOA was entered into by SM Supermalls’ chief operating officer Steven T. Tan (representing SM Prime), and Fire Director Leonard R. Bañago.

Under the agreement, BFP and SM Prime will collaborate in the promotion, information dissemination and the conduct of fire safety protection and preparedness-related activities. SM agreed to host several of BFP’s activities that are geared towards educating the public about fire safety, through mall events and information and education campaigns.

The BFP committed to providing the necessary expertise to train and equip the employees, agency personnel, and tenants of the more than 70 SM Supermalls on fire safety and disaster resiliency.

“As a member of the community and a responsible mall developer, SM supports initiatives for a public-private partnership such as this one. We are humbled to be BFP’s partner in promoting fire safety, and in helping build disaster-resilient communities. Through this partnership, we hope to teach our customers and the communities where our malls are present, the importance of safety and resilience,” said Tan.

In his message during the culminating activity, Epimaco V. Densing III, Undersecretary for Operations of the Department of Interior and Local Government said, “The partnership is very critical to us because this is one way for the Bureau of Fire Protection to reach out to the people.

SM is now giving us the venue for the agency to be much closer to the people, and this is what we call the participatory governance side so that there can be a partnership between the ordinary people, the Filipino business community and that of the government agencies such as BFP.”

Fire Director, Chief BFP Leonard R. Bañago, added; “Ang fire prevention ay hindi lamang role ng BFP, kundi role natin itong lahat. Kailangan mag participate ang community and private sector sa isinasagawang fire prevention campaigns. Hinihikayat natin ang lahat ng stakeholders na mag participate para maiwasan ang pagkakaroon ng mapinsalang sunog.”

(“Fire prevention is not just the role of BFP, but is everybody’s role. The community and the private sector should participate in fire prevention campaigns. We encourage all stakeholders to participate, to prevent fire incidents.”)

“We encourage the people, now that the Bureau of Fire Protection will be present in many of the SM Supermalls, to please interact with them. There is what we call the “Fire Square” – it is one way for the people to experience what they should be doing during fire incidents, and participate in lectures and interactive training for them to know strategies for fire prevention and safety,” Densing III added.

The BFP also gave due recognition to Local Chief Executives and other partners from both government and private sector for their continuing support to the efforts of the BFP.

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