The Metro Ayala fire incident has prompted the Cebu provincial government to initiate measures to prevent a similar one from happening in the province.
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III yesterday (on Monday) announced their plan to review fire-safety measures of all province-owned buildings and properties including province-owned hospitals and schools in the province.
As a start, Davide has tasked the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) to start checking the status of fire-safety measures in the Capitol compound such as its electrical wiring system.
“Dili lang ta magkompyansa (Let’s not be complacent) … So I asked the provincial engineer (Engineer Hector Jamora) to check the (Capitol’s) executive building, the legislative (building) and other buildings owned by the province especially because they are already old. We don’t know when was the last time their wiring system was revamped, especially in our stockrooms and bodegas,” said Davide.
Davide also called on local government units in the province to cooperate and closely coordinate with the PDRRMO and the PEO to have their properties, as well as those owned by private entities in their areas, checked.
He said this is important since malls and supermarkets are setting up shops in towns.
Baltazar Tribunalo, PDRRMO chief, earlier said that they would also re-orient provincial government employees on how to respond to any fire-related incidents and on detecting events that might lead to a fire incident.
Schools in the province and province-owned hospitals will also be included in the Capitol’s fire safety review.
“Although we have regular check-ups in every office, it was agreed during the department heads’ meeting that we will also follow-up the fire-safety status of schools and other offices, and also hospitals. We will also check if municipal buildings have any signs of faulty wiring system or any events that may cause fire,” Tribunalo said.
Fire extinguishers of province-owned properties will also be checked.
“Another one is we will be checking on our fire extinguishers since the Capitol has brought in new fire extinguishers. At the same time, we will conduct a refresher on how to properly use a fire extinguisher,” he said.
The fire that destroyed the Metro Gaisano Department Store in the Ayala Center Cebu mall lasted for more more than a day or 39 hours.
The fire damaged five of the eight levels (from the second floor up to the sixth floor) of the department store.
The Metro Gaisano Ayala store fire incident followed a fire last month of a mall in Davao City where several people were killed.
This prompted a labor group to call for a joint fire safety audit of malls nationwide.