Group to DILG: Probe BFP slow response in a San Juan City fire

AS it extends condolences to more than 1,500 families whose homes in Saint Joseph community in San Juan City were struck by fire this Christmas dawn, militant urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) urged Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas to investigate the ‘slow and anomalous response’ of the Bureau of Fire Protection from nearby San Juan City Fire Station.

According to Arnold Repique, chair of Kadamay San Juan City Chapter, the casualties could have been less had the nearby Fire Station which is only 50 meters away from the community responded quickly.

According to the leader, fire broke out at around 1am but the first fire truck arrived late at past 2am.

“The residents complained that the first fire truck was empty of water, and was parked conspicuously to block the way of other responding fire trucks,” he added.

The leader also fears that the local government of San Juan will prevent the residents from rebuildng their homes as the community has faced threats of demolition in the previous months.

Meanwhile, Kadamay appealed to the Aquino administration to address the needs of San Juan fire victims and help them in the rehabilitation of their community.

Like the residents of San Juan, many urban poor families have welcomed Christmas at the street including not less than 100 families of BIR Road and Barangay Del Monte in Quezon City whose homes were demolished last October and November. Until now, they are still waiting for a
decent housing program from the government, the group said.

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