MMDA Metrobase to be used for monitoring fire incidents in MM during New Year’s celebration
By Aerol B. Patena
MANILA, Dec. 29 (PNA) — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will be utilizing its Metrobase command center for various government agencies involved in ensuring safe and peaceful celebration of the New Year.
MMDA General Manager Thomas Orbos said the Metrobase will be converted into a coordinating center for the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Department of Health (DOH), and the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) from December 31, 2016 to January 1, 2017 in a coordination meeting on preparations for the New Year held Thursday at its office in Makati City.
He said the BFP personnel will be taking over the operations to monitor fire, and fire burning incidents in Metro Manila for the duration of the New Year’s revelry.
“We intend to use the Metrobase in order to monitor fire incidents that might happen during the New Year celebrations and in order for the government agencies to immediately respond to these incidents,” the MMDA chief said in an interview with reporters.
For its part, the BFP-National Capital Region (BFP-NCR) has implemented its Oplan Paalala since November wherein fire personnel conduct its information campaign in various barangays to remind residents of the hazards of indiscriminate firecracker use.
The BFP-NCR warned that they have the authority to confiscate illegal firecrackers on the spot and assures the visibility of firemen during New Year’s Eve. It will also convert its conference room into a war room which will be equipped with monitors to mirror those at the Metrobase for efficient coordination of response to fire and other emergency incidents.
It has also reported that defective Christmas lights often cause fire incidents during the holiday season aside of firecrackers.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that there are currently 69 cases of firecracker-related injuries wherein the victims’ age range from 11-20 years old, and were injured by piccolo blast. There were no cases of stray bullet victims reported during the holidays.
The number of firecracker-related injuries was lower by 79 percent compared to last year’s and 18 percent lower than the previous four years.
DOH has placed hospitals nationwide on Code White alert in preparation for the New Year and is set to release its final report on injuries related to the New Year’s celebration on January 6, 2017. (PNA)