Robredo orders Bureau of Fire Protection: Compel Metro establishments to fix fire safety deficiencies

A March 2, 2011 press release by the Department of the Interior and Local Government

As the country observes the annual Fire Prevention Month this March, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo on Wednesday directed the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to compel owners of 18 establishments in Metro Manila to correct the fire safety defects and deficiencies of their buildings.

Robredo issued the order after receiving reports that 18 establishments in the National Capital Region (NCR) have been violating fire safety standards and regulations under the Fire Code Law.

Citing the BFP report, Robredo said that of the 18 erring establishments, which include schools, hotels and commercial buildings, six are in Manila; five in Makati; three in Quezon City; and two each in Malabon and Pasay.

Robredo instructed the BFP to give the establishments owners a grace period of 15 days to check and correct their defects and deficiencies.

“If after the grace period they still fail to comply, the bureau can recommend appropriate actions to the local government units concerned to suspend their permits to operate or foreclose the concerned establishments,” he said.

The violations of the establishments ranged from the lack of automatic fire suppression systems or sprinklers; insufficient or substandard automatic emergency lights; no fire exit; no illuminated directional exit signs; and no automatic smoke detection and alarm initiation system.

Some of the establishments also have no evacuation floor plans, obstructed corridors and hallways and inadequate units of fire extinguishers, Robredo said.

The establishments found to have defects and deficiencies are as follows: in Manila –Manhattan Building in Tondo; SM City Manila (Mall)/SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; New Divisoria Market in Binondo; La CafĂ© in Malate; PJ Mansion in Sampaloc; and Perpetual Help Hospital in Sampaloc.

In Makati, Manila Court Building; Valero Plaza; Don Tim Building; SMART Tower Building; and Power Plant in Rockwell.

In Quezon CityClaret School, BMW/Autohaus, and Blue Ridge Christian Academy; PasayAsiawealth Tower Condominium and Bernadette Tadbalcaola; Malabon – the Church in Malabon, Inc. and Victoria Court.

“We should ensure the fire safety soundness of the different establishments, especially those which are frequented by a high volume of our population,” Robredo said.