Local News: Victorias Fire Station Chief Airs Side
The controversy related to the supposed overstaying status of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Chief in Victorias City in Northern Negros SFO2 Eduardo "Bong" de la Paz, elder brother of Bacolod Police Chief Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz, has no basis at all and had been encouraged by the Western Visayas’ region fire chief, head of the BFP Senior Supt. Eleuterio Itturiaga, the latter said, and which was buttressed by Provincial Fire Chief, Supt. Fred Trajeras, both said in an interview yesterday morning.
Through the instigation of businessman Romeo Aceron, fire alarms and fire extinguishers, the issues against De la Paz were aired. But in the interview, he said there is no basis for the said issue, it is malicious and inconsequential. Aceron only orchestrated the issue because De la Paz demanded he pays the city his business permit.
On the overstaying issue, both said that of 31 fire stations in the province and with five sub-stations in Bacolod City, only three fire chiefs in Bacolod, Iloilo and Capiz, are in fact qualified because they are armed with masteral degrees. There are barely five personnel in each fire station, three or five in some which are all under the close operational control of Trajeras, who holds office in the fire station provincial office which has only about eleven personnel in its office near the Bacolod City National High School.
De la Paz added that Aceron must settle his business permit in Victorias because in fact, he does business here. He also pays his business permit in Bacolod City.
As for Bong de la Paz, it was Romeo Aceron, a businessman who was allegedlybehind the attacks against him.
Most BFP chiefs all over the country are in fact not qualified as by law they do not have masteral degrees.
BFP offices in the province take charge of collecting fire fees. At best, P100 would go to the fire station, and a certain percentage to the BFP national office, with an amount going to the local government unit, said De la Paz.
It is possible that Aceron was slighted because De la Paz has suggested he pays fire permit fees in Victorias and does not, but pays in Bacolod. This is when he sells firefighting equipment to the milling company, VMC.
On the issues raised against him and what he has explained then, the overstaying issue is passe,’ said De la Paz. As to the claim that the head of a fire station must be a Chief Inspector or major, it is because there are hardly any in the BFP, who are qualified to be of officer rank, that most non-commissioned officers are assigned, instead.
Besides, there are few personnel in the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), said De la Paz.
For a member of the BFP to acquire officers’ rank, he must be a masteral graduate, must have advanced training and the like. There are so many BFP chiefs in cities and provinces who hold major positions because there is simply nobody qualified enough to replace them.
But he is more than willing to pack his bags when necessary.*