Local News: Rep. Golez Address Concerns of Bizmen on Fire Sprinkler Need
Congressman Anthony Rolando "Cong. Doc Tony" T. Golez, Jr., Representative for the Lone District of Bacolod City filed House Resolution No. 2582, entitled"A Resolution Urging the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Office of the President to Review and Amend the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9514 with regard to the Mandatory Installation of Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems in Buildings or Structures and for Other Purposes".
Said Resolution was precipitated by the provision in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 9514 or the Fire Code of the Philippines of 2008 that requires all public and private buildings and structures to install an Automatic Fire Sprinkler System (AFSS). This particular rule is a major concern of Bacolod City building owners and businessmen in their efforts to comply with what the law asks.
The said Bacolod City building owners and businessmen even coalesced and formed an Ad Hoc Committee for the fire sprinkler requirement and sought assistance from Cong. Doc Tony, who immediately requested Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse M. Robredo for a discussion with the Ad Hoc Committee. Last July 11, 2012, DILG Secretary Robredo sent Undersecretary Austere Panadero and Atty. Gina Wenceslao to Bacolod City and discussed the AFSS requirement with the said Ad Hoc Committee. The discussion was held at Planta Hotel and was attended by members of the Ad Hoc Committee, led by Architect Ramiro Garcia, Jr. At the start of the meeting, Cong. Doc Tony expressed his pride and honor for the efforts of Bacolod City businessmen for their very serious efforts in making sure that the public will be amply protected from fire hazards; this gesture was also seconded by Undersecretary Panadero. Also present in the discussion were officials from the Bureau of Fire Protection.
In said discussion, it was pointed out that the AFSS requirement is not suitable for all buildings. Participants in the discussion all agreed that some building owners may not be able to comply with said requirement because of the cost of the AFSS. It was also highlighted that the structural integrity of some buildings might be compromised with the installation of the AFSS. However, the DILG and the Ad Hoc Committee were one in stating that fire safety for all must be held and other measures to promote it can be used. The DILG and the Ad Hoc Committee revealed their awareness about the existence of other effective measures that can be used to ensure fire safety aside from the AFSS. The discussion yielded the consensus that the requirement for the installation of an AFSS in all public and private buildings must be reviewed and be appropriately amended; this prompted Cong. Doc Tony to file House Resolution No. 2582 and urged the DILG and the Office of the President to take prompt action on the matter.
"I commend the Bacolod City businessmen for their sincerity in upholding the rule of law, true Bacolodnons are indeed honorable. I hope that the DILG and the Office of the President would address the issue properly and strike a balance between the need for fire safety and the need to promote business and enterprise. It should be pointed out that our Constitution recognizes the role of businessmen in our economy and we all know that business creates jobs and opportunities that promote progress and alleviate poverty. It should be highlighted that Bacolodnons are at the forefront of this concern and I am proud and honored to have the opportunity to be part of finding ways to address the matter," added Cong. Doc Tony.
The Bacolod City Ad Hoc Committee on the fire sprinkler requirement is composed of the following business groups: the Bacolod Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Negros Occidental, the Chamber of Real Estate & Builders’ Association-Bacolod Chapter, the Philippine Retailers Association-Bacolod Chapter, the United Architects of the Philippines-Bacolod Chapter and the Negros Occidental Filipino-Chinese Amity Club, Inc.*
(l-r) Arch. Ramiro Garcia, Cong. Doc Tony and DILG Usec Austere Panadero at Planta Hotel, Bacolod City, July 11, 2012*
Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday said he has written the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to expedite the release of loans of local government units (LGUs) from various banks in order to fast-track their projects. Marañon said he had also written to the League of Provinces of the Philippines, and is calling on the League of Cities of the Philippines and League of Municipalities to press the same demand from BSP.
Marañon cited the construction of the two-storey building of Negros Occidental, which will be donated by the provincial government to the Department of Education, that was delayed because its funds were not released yet. The governor said the municipal government of Hinigaran is also complaining that their loans were not granted for a year already, while the city government of Silay is also the same.
Marañon said the BSP should expedite the loans of LGUs since the respective LGUs have complied with the stringent requirements of the banks, and the loan packages are already approved by the Department of Finance.
Moreover, the banks know how much loans they will grant to each LGU so there is no need for a thorough review of the BSP’s monetary board, he said.
Marañon said many LGUs depend on the loans to spur their development, and the delay hampers their progress.
Marañon said he has also written Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government about the matter.* (DBDangcalan)
Councilor Al Victor Espino lashed out anew at former Vice-Mayor and 2010 congressional bet Renecito Novero, saying he is running roughshod against four councilors, who have bandied together to protest his possible selection as vice-mayoralty bet of presumed mayoralty bet to the group, Jude Thaddeus Sayson in the coming 2013 local election.
"One will know the character of former Vice-Mayor Novero by observing how he puts words into the mouth of Councilor Dindo Ramos, saying the latter is not interested in throwing his hat into the vice-mayoralty ring. It’s not his desire to become a tandem for Mayor Evelio Leonardia, said Novero reportedly. That’s farthest from the truth," Espino said.
Espino said that in fact, he, Councilors Homer Bais, Dindo Ramos and Roberto "Bobby" Rojas are available for the vice-mayoralty selection and who really belonged to NPC-Grupo Progreso, Espino pointed out.
"But the selection for the city’s second top post, should be democratic," he added. And if there are other candidates who do not belong to Grupo Progreso, he should be an asset to the group and not a liability.
But Espino’s demeanor showed he was totally against Novero. He also emphasized that not just anybody could replace his colleagues in the Grupo Progreso as far as the vice-mayoralty position for the electoral exercise is concerned.
When queried by anchorman Charlie Pabular and Rex Cantong of Aksyon Radyo, Espino said yes, the four of them were interested in the vice-mayoralty position as tandem of Sayson.
On his major thrust, Espino said, the protection of the Bacolod Real Estate and Development Corporation (BREDCO) would be his major agenda, said the Bacolod City councilor. In fact, in protection of BREDCO, Novero had previously filed a case against the councilors, added Espino. They were, he said, protecting the people’s interests.
He believes the people will not tolerate this situation.*