President Duterte supported the plan to arm firefighters, pointing out the dangers they face while performing their responsibilities.
President Duterte signed the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Modernization Act on Friday, September 10, allowing over 2,000 firefighters to carry firearms.
“Under the law, the BFP will embark on a 10-year modernization period, transforming it into a modern and world-class institution,”Duterte said at a signing ceremony in Malacañang.
The BFP’s current fire protection services will be upgraded as part of the modernization program, which will include the acquisition of new and modern equipment, vehicles, and personal protective equipment, as well as regular skills capability enhancement training for personnel and officers, including fire volunteers and fire safety practitioners, on fire prevention and suppression, fire inspection and clearance, and investigation.
RA 11589, according to Duterte, will allow the BFP to begin on a 10-year modernization period that will transform it into a contemporary and world-class institution.
“This will consistently guarantee our safety and become the source of pride. It is my hope that this milestone will further inspire the men and women of the BFP to hone their skills and expertise in areas of fire prevention and suppression as well as emergency, medical response and disaster preparedness and resilience,”Duterte said.
Duterte also backed BFP personnel armament. stating that the move would allow them to conduct their jobs without being concerned about the “risks of so many dangers.”
Allowing firefighters to carry a gun would help them ward off threats and destruction of government property, Duterte said.
“Hirap sila kung wala eh. Tinatakot sila eh. So, para naman medyo buo ang loob ng bumbero, tutal gobyerno ‘to, and they can be called upon during emergencies to contribute to the law and order of the place,”
(“They are facing challenges because they are getting threats. So, to boost the firefighters’ confidence, we thought of just arming them also, since they are part of the government,”)he added.
Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, the bill’s sponsor, had stated that a total of 2,282 firefighters would be permitted to carry firearms in order to protect their colleagues while performing their responsibilities.
These firefighters would be assigned to the BFP’s proposed Security and Protection Unit in each city and municipality across the country.
Dela Rosa stated that the plan “arose from a request from Malacaang, from the President.”