Iloilo City mayor stresses need for high-rise ladders

On Saturday, November 4, 2023, a fire hit the 11th floor of the Enterprise Building in Iloilo Business Park, Barangay San Rafael, Mandurriao.
On Saturday, November 4, 2023, a fire hit the 11th floor of the Enterprise Building in Iloilo Business Park, Barangay San Rafael, Mandurriao. (Photo by Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office)

ILOILO City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas has called for more high-rise ladders to be made available to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) following a fire that broke out at a high-rise condominium in the city on Saturday, November 4, 2023.

Treñas stated in a press conference on Monday, November 6, that he has been advocating for improved firefighting equipment, especially high-rise ladders, since 2019.

"Since 2019, I have written to the Bureau of Fire Protection that we need more high-rise ladders. But the BFP in Manila responded that they are in the procurement process," Treñas said.

Treñas contacted Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr., about equipment limitations during a recent fire incident.

He stressed the need for high-rise ladders that can reach up to 20 stories, which he believed would significantly improve the city's firefighting capabilities.

He also commended the use of a drone by the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) to guide BFP and volunteers during the operation.

"We could have done better if we had a ladder good for 20 stories," Treñas emphasized, highlighting the need for improved equipment.

He said he plans to collaborate with the BFP-Western Visayas Director Chief Superintendent, Jerry D. Candido, who has connections in Korea, to seek a potential donation of a second-hand fire truck with a ladder capable of reaching 20 floors.

The mayor acknowledged the role of the volunteers and the BFP in containing the fire, which was localized and prevented from spreading further. He expressed gratitude for their prompt response and praised their efforts in saving lives.

Treñas also said his intention was to expedite the approval of gasoline supplies for the 20 BFP fire trucks, emphasizing the city's commitment to supporting the BFP.

He noted that the Office of the Building Official (OBO) would continue to ensure the implementation of necessary safety measures in buildings and investigate whether negligence played a role in the fire, as it occurred while the building was still under construction.

The recent incident has raised concerns about the city's firefighting capabilities, particularly in high-rise buildings.

Treñas's call for improved equipment and safety measures aims to enhance the city's preparedness for future fire emergencies.

On Saturday, November 4, a fire hit the 11th floor of the Enterprise Building in Iloilo Business Park, Barangay San Rafael, Mandurriao.

The fire broke out at 6:09 p.m., and multiple emergency response units, including the BFP, Philippine National Red Cross, Iloilo City Action Group (ICAG) Volunteer Fire Brigade, Federation Iloilo Fire Brigade (FedFire), and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office Urban Search and Rescue, responded immediately.

Only the ICAG and FedFire have ladders.

A fire was brought under control at 8:17 p.m. and declared fire out at 8:39 p.m. Investigation on what cause the fire is ongoing.

The official statement from Iloilo Business Park on November 4, stated that "it is business as usual in all office buildings, hotels, and commercial establishments inside Iloilo Business Park."

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