MANILA, Philippines – Thirty-eight new fire trucks procured by the Department of Interior and Local Government through a loan from the Austrian government were turned over on Wednesday to local officials.
Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II said the 38 Rosenbauer TLF 4000 trucks were designed for highly urbanized areas.
“Ang disensyo nito is for highly urbanized cities nang sa ganun ay marating nya yung matataas na gusali o kaya yung widespread na mga tahanan,” he told reporters.
Recipients for the fire trucks were chosen based on criteria by the National Economic Development Authority.
“Hindi ito ang pagpili ng mga recipients but batay ito sa isang formula. Number of fire incidents at saka number of tall buildings kasi yung talagang itong pressure na ito ay para makarating sa mga eight storeys, mga matataas na gusali so pinili talaga ito for highly urbanized,” Roxas said.
The new fire trucks have the capacity to discharge 2,400 liters of water per minute. Its water cannon can push water up to 62 meters horizontally and 24 meters vertically, which is equivalent to an eight-storey building.
The 38 trucks were turned over to the city mayors and fire marshals of the following cities in Metro Manila: Quezon City, Manila, Caloocan, Malabon, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Las Piñas and Taguig.
The recipient cities from the provinces are Antipolo, Baguio, Batangas City, Calamba, Angeles, San Jose Del Monte, Tanauan, Meycauayan and Lipa in Luzon; Mandaue, Bacolod City, Cebu City, Iloilo City, Talisay, Bayawan, Lapu-Lapu, Tanjay and Baybay in the Visayas; Davao City, Pagadian, Dapitan, Zamboanga City, Cotabato City, Digos, Tagum, Kidapawan, and General Santos City in Mindanao.
A second batch, with 38 more fire trucks, is on the way within the next two months.
“Eto naman ang disensyo will be for the lesser urbanized. Iba naman, mas maliliit para makapasok sa mga eskinita, sa mga masisikip na lugar,” Roxas said.
He added that the acquisition of the modern fire trucks was initiated by his predecessor, the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
The trucks were acquired through an Official Development Assistance facility of the Republic of Austria, which granted a total loan amount of 20.5 million euros payable in 17 and a half years with an interest rate of one percent per year.
A demonstration of the trucks’ firefighting capabilities was also held at the event, which was also attended by Austrian Ambassador Wilhelm Donko, the recipient city mayors, and officers and members of the BFP led by Fire Chief Superintendent Carlito Romero.
Roxas also advised the mayors who attended the turnover ceremonies that if their cities should augment BFP capabilities in their areas, it would be ideal to acquire water pumpers to complement the new Rosenbauer trucks.
As summer draws near, he also asked the mayors to step up its fire prevention programs, saying that while fire trucks can help, keeping the public aware of preventive measures was far more important.
“Kahit na napakaganda ng mga fire trucks na ito, mas gugustuhin pa din nating hindi na sila magamit. Ibig sabihin, sana ay walang sunog,” Roxas said.