Senator Win Gatchalian called for a more intensified fire prevention awareness campaign to prevent fire incidents as the country observes Fire Prevention Month this March.
Gatchalian made the call as he distributed relief goods and personally visited more than a thousand families in Piapi, Davao City on Friday who are all fire victims. The fire took place last February 25 and is reported to have originated either from children who were burning copper wires in the area or from a resident who left the butane stove unattended while cooking.
Gatchalian, principal author of the LPG Industry Regulation Act, reminded consumers anew of the proper handling of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to prevent fire since a little over 50% of households depend on LPG for their daily cooking needs.
RA 11592 aims to fill in regulatory gaps in the industry, including ensuring the removal of unsafe tanks from circulation to prevent LPG-fire-related incidents. The law also institutionalizes the cylinder exchange and swapping program to allow consumers to bring any brand of empty LPG cylinder to any retail outlet and use it to purchase another brand of LPG cylinder carried by the retail outlet. The LPG Cylinder Improvement Program, meanwhile, ensures the quality of all LPG cylinders in circulation to protect consumers.
“Maging mapagmatyag sa paligid at maging mapanuri sa mga binibiling LPG cylinder. Siguraduhing nakasara ang tangke ng LPG sa tuwing hindi ito ginagamit upang maiwasan ang aksidente na maaaring kumitil ng buhay,” Gatchalian stressed.
The senator also said that appropriate fire prevention campaigns, particularly in depressed areas, would enable residents to effectively address fire hazards and deal with such incidents effectively.
“Kailangang maging maalam ang ating mga kababayan sa fire prevention. Kung kakayanin, kailangan maglagay ng fire extinguisher sa kanilang mga tahanan at dapat alamin kung saan ang pinakamalapit na fire hydrants,” he emphasized, noting that in the case of the Davao City fire, firefighters took some time to declare a fire-out because of narrow and inaccessible pathways, making it hard for fire responders to use their equipment.