Fire extinguisher dealers mull raps vs fire marshal

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Friday, February 17, 2012


TWO fire extinguisher dealers recently surfaced alleging Baguio City Fire Marshal Richard Villanueva favoring dealers endorsed by the fire department.

In a press conference Thursday, Efren Gamboa of Dan Well Marketing said they submitted requirements to the fire marshal for them to be issued a certification authorizing them to sell fire extinguishers in the city but were not given a certification as they have not been compliant with the Fire Code of the Philippines.

Gamboa said they already acquired a business permit from the City Government and a license to sell by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which is why he is complaining the inclusion of his establishment from those unauthorized to sell fire extinguishers in the city.

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Baguio Fire Marshal Senior Superintendent Richard Villanueva identified Gamboa’s establishment together with 16 other dealers as non-compliant to the Fire Code, a requirement needed for them to be licensed by the DTI and for the granting of a business permit.

Other dealers tagged as unlicensed to sell fire extinguisher in the city include Flamebuster Marketing, GPS Enterprise, Baronie Industries, ACE Hardware Phils. Inc., TJ Industries and Services, DIY Shop Corporation-Cooyeesan, Pines Electrical Supply and General Merchandise, PROTECT Extinguishers, Livewire Electrical Supply, Jimnor Intertrade, Wil Construct enterprise, Handyman Do-It Best Home Center, Hurricane Industrial Sales and Services, Baguio Electrical Supplies, DIY Shop Corporation-Centermall and Pristine Hardware.

According to the dealer, the sale of fire extinguishers in the city is a multi-million business with more than 20 dealers conducting business in the city alone.

Yolanda Camilon, operations manager of Flamebuster Marketing, also expressed her opposition to the moves of Villanueva, claiming they are being harassed.

Both dealers claimed they are both authorized by manufacturers of fire extinguishers to sell and conduct refilling of fire extinguisher tanks.

They belied earlier statements of Villanueva that they are the ones refilling the fire extinguishers, claiming they ship the tanks to the manufacturer in Manila to be refilled.

Both dealers also said they do not conduct sales transactions inside the Baguio Fire Station but in their offices compared to the licensed establishments which they alleged was endorsed by the fire chief.

They also alleged these licensed establishments after being endorsed by the fire department’s employees sold fire extinguishers inside the premises of the government office.

Gamboa said it was only recently that the Baguio Fire Department posted in their office signs that no sale of fire extinguishers should be done inside their premises.

With this, the group is now consulting again their lawyers for the filing of appropriate case against Villanueva.

Camilon, meanwhile, has already filed an administrative charge against Villanueva at the Department of Interior and Local Government and is now awaiting for the agency’s action.

Meanwhile, Villanueva maintained his agency’s main focus is to promote fire safety, which is why they are imposing fire extinguisher dealers to strictly comply with the Fire Code of the Philippines. (JM Agreda)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 18, 2012.

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