Wednesday, March 9, 2016

BFP puts up 5 more 
fire stations in Bohol

TAGBILARAN CITY, March 8, (PIA)--The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is now facilitating the construction and eventual operationalization of five more P2.6 million fire stations in Bohol towns. 

Fire Chief Inspector Antonio Ortiz, Bohol Acting Fire Marshal shared this as the Kapihan sa PIA tackled Bohol's readiness to respond to fire and other similar calamities. 

At the radio forum which talked about Fire Prevention Month, Ortiz also bared that this year's commemoration theme is "Kaalaman at Pagtutulongan ng Sambayanan, Kaligtasa sa Sunog ay Makamtan. 

Moreover, two more firr stations are being repaired and retrofitted to suit the BFP standards for fire stations across the country, added Tagbilaran City Fire Marshal Chief Inspector Raul Bustalino.

The new fire stations, courtesy of the towns who facilitated lot donations are in Sierra Bullones, Catigbian, Sagbayan, Anda and Sikatuna. 

When these new stations are put up and the tow more repaired, Bohol would tend to have 36 fire stations in its 47 towns and a city. 

But, for Bohol which has 1.2 million in population, and only 280 fire officers assigned here in the different fire stations spread all over the province, the population to fireman is exaggeratedly daunting. 

Although the number is still far from the ideal, the BFP, who are the kings of emergency and disaster response, said despite their being thinly spread, they are adapting to the situation, explains acting Bohol Fire marshal Ortiz. 

Key to their being able to cover areas which are not covered by a local station is the effective use of multi-functional firemen organizing cluster approach, the institutionalization of volunteer fire brigades and the continuing fire prevention guides the BFP is disseminating to communities.

We implemented a cluster system, towns without fire stations can ask for help from nearby towns with the equipment, BFP explained. 

As to the manpower complement of a fire truck, the BFP and their Fire Protection Coordinator assigned in towns also are tasked to organize volunteer fire brigades composed of civilians who can take on the task of a fireman in their absence. 

It is among the expected accomplishment of fire chiefs in the towns to put up their own fire brigades, local who are familiar with the territory and can partner with the firemen in the fire engines, Ortiz said. 

He also said that establishments with employees over 50 are also mandated to organize such fire teams, while the BFP does its training. 

But, considering the acute need for equipment, manpower and resources, the BFP's ace on the sleeve is its continuing fire prevention campaigns and proactive engagement with stakeholders, both Bustalino and Ortiz revealed. 

Like anywhere les, fire prevention is always better than fire suppression, BFP agrees. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

4Ps families can get busy earning...
Leaf-inspired novelty
items need suppliers

TAGBILARAN CITY, March 8, (PIA)— There is a niche market for novelty items made from leaf manipulation, and a city resident thinks that indigents like her can use the trainings available to be equipped with the skill with a potential for increased income. 

In fact, city officials who went for a benchmarking tour with the trained leaf manipulators know there is a huge potential for the skill and for its tourism value, but, not many see it that way. 

Rowena Bernales, along with some residents of Manga, Bool, Cogon and Mansasa beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and who availed of a Department of Trade and Industry as well as the Fabrication Laboratory's leaf manipulation training bemoan this. 

"Sayang, we could have gotten the numbers already, but only a few are seriously looking at the money prospect," Bernales, a Manilena admitted, during a chance interview. 

Of course, leaf manipulation needs the skill, patience and determination, but in it also comes additional incomes plus keeping oneself busy and be spared from the unproductive activities poor communities engage themselves in, she added. 

"The program on leaf manipulation was part of the initiatives to reduce garbage, leaves being some of them, explains Jerome Gabin," DTI training coordinator.

"We partnered with Fablab in training people to earn the skills and income while giving communities the opportunity to improve their lots," he added.

The plan was simple: find use of the garbage that abounds; and here it means leaves.

Using leaves and its different shades, hues and textures to embellish an object they are stuck to using glue, a box for example, or a simple object, is not that hard, Fablab sources said. 

"We joined the training, and worked from there," Bernales, who has since learned the meticulous ways of the arts bared in broken Cebuano mixed with Tagalog. 

During their graduation from the training, she shared that a leaf mosaic she crafted for Mayor John Geesnell Yap caught the mayors attention, and bought the work. 

Recently, with the City Department of Interior and Local Government, and its Bottom-Up Budgeting, the city 4Ps beneficiary and leaf manipulator trainees visited areas in the country and found inspiration from there, Bernales said. 

In Cebu and in Manila, a lot of establishments were excited upon seeing our products, and there were orders right there and then, she excitedly narrated. 

But, unluckily however, not many of those who finished the trainings are seriously into the fabrication of the novelty items.

How I wish they could help producing a good number of items so we could start delivering them to buyers and clients, Bernales hopes. 

With the development, City officials think organizing the artists and making sure of a market are among the steps they need to do to spur up production and for the poor to start earning. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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