DESPITE questions from the Cebu City Fire Department, the Cebu City Government will push through with the procurement of the P46-million firefighting equipment and accessories.

Councilor Dave Tumulak, head of the Peace and Order Program (POP), said that the equipment will not be for the fire department but for the 22 barangays that have auxiliary fire brigades.

"These fire brigades need fire safety gears. That's why the City will help because it doesn't look good that fire volunteers would respond to fire incidents just wearing jeans, slippers or ordinary shoes,” said Tumulak.

He also pointed out that the Cebu City Fire Department only has six fire trucks that respond to fire alarms in the city while the barangays have a total of 26 fire trucks.

"That's why we need to help the barangays. We have to prioritize and equip them. The City's thrust is to empower the barangays especially now that we are strengthening disaster risk reduction,” said Tumulak.

The fire department, said Tumulak, has a budget allocation from the National Government through the Bureau of Fire Protection, that it can use.

Barangays that will benefit from the P46-million firefighting equipment and accessories are Apas, Ermita, Hipodromo, Luz, Mabolo, Sambag II, Sta. Cruz, Sto. Niño, and Tejero in the north district.

For the south district, beneficiaries are: Basak San Nicolas, Cogon Pardo, Guadalupe, Inayawan, Labangon, Poblacion Pardo, Punta Princesa, Quiot, Sawang Calero, Suba and Tisa.

City Fire Marshall Rogelio Bongabong earlier raised concern on the procurement of the firefighting equipment and accessories, saying that the items listed in the purchase request (PR) are no longer those they have requested.

But Tumulak said he has not seen the fire department's wish list as the items in the PR are intended for the barangays.

If there are equipment that the city's firemen want to buy, Tumulak told the fire department to submit to him a list so it can be included in the next purchase.

For this year, the City has a budget of P96 million for the purchase of firefighting equipment and accessories. The budget is under the POP.

Tumulak said that the annual budget did not specify that the entire amount is for the fire department's use.

Tumulak said that the issue surrounding the procurement of the firefighting equipment and accessories is just a matter of "miscommunication" and lack of coordination.