Editorial: Telling BFP 7 to leave-A A +A
Thursday, October 31, 2013
THERE is reason for Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) 7 officials to resist the “order” of the Cebu City Government and Mayor Michael Rama to vacate their building along the national highway in Barangay Pahina Central within 15 days so it can be used as temporary city hospital.
While Rama can use a calamity in the form of the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that damaged the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) to justify the temporary use of the BFP 7 building as a hospital, he cannot be arbitrary and unilateral. He cannot even be insulting to BFP 7 officials.
When the earthquake hit last Oct. 15, BFP 7 officials did not object to the use of their compound to house the patients who were hastily evacuated from the CCMC building, which is located just across their office. Had they resisted, the verbal abuse hurled at them would have been justified.
Since then, BFP 7 has vacated 75 percent of their area, according to BFP 7 Director Ma. Luisa Hadjula. But the mayor wants a total transfer of the BFP 7 office to the Cebu City Sports Center apparently because the hospital personnel and the patients need all the space they can get.
But it’s something that both the city government and the BFP can agree on after a dialogue and sans the threat by the mayor of going to court or statements describing BFP 7 officials as “Gahi sila’g ulo.”
Among the issues that need to be settled is the timetable for the transfer. The 15-day deadline could be too short. Perhaps Hadjula was honest when she objected to a “sudden transfer” and cited the need for “proper coordination and preparation,” more so because the transfer would involve communications equipment.
Admittedly, there is a conflict as to the ownership of the lot where the fire station and the BFP 7 building stand, with Rama claiming that the city owns it and Hadjula saying it is BFP property. But that issue can be discussed in a dialogue or brought to the courts later.
What is important for now is for the two government agencies to resolve the issue of the temporary transfer of BFP 7 to the suggested location inside the Cebu City Sports Center. We are sure the BFP officials wouldn’t pose objection to it if they are treated by the city government with the dignity that they deserve.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 01, 2013.