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Duterte signs bill modernizing BFP, allowing firemen to carry guns

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With the recent signing of the measure institutionalizing the modernization of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), firefighters will not only carry water cannons but also firearms.

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law the Republic Act 11589 or “An Act Strengthening and Modernizing the Bureau of Fire Protection and Appropriating Funds, therefore.”

“In the mind of some, bakit mo bigyan ng baril ang mga bumbero eh sunog lang ang kalaban niyan? (In the mind of some, why are you giving firefighters guns when they are fighting fires?)” Duterte said.

“You know, the organization itself and the individual bumbero they are exposed to a fraught of so many dangers,” he added.

Duterte said some victims of fires would threaten firemen and insist that their areas would be prioritized.

“Iyong iba pinuputol --- sa galit, pinuputol ‘yung hose. So there are so many challenges in the work of a bumbero in the day of his life na kailangan mo protektahan,” he said.

By allowing them to carry firearms, the President said they would be confident in doing their jobs.

“We thought of just arming them also. Tutal gobyerno ‘toh and they can be called upon during emergencies to contribute to the law and order of the place, but they have to have something,” he said.

According to Duterte, Filipinos will not follow authorities unless they see firearms.

“[I]t’s sad to say it, but ang ano dito is symbol ng ano is baril. Kung hindi ka makakita ng baril, hindi susunod,” he said.

Meanwhile, Duterte said that he is confident that the passage of the measure will help boost the operations of the BFP.

“I am therefore confident that the passage of the [BFP] Modernization Act will help boost the morale, efficiency, responsiveness and professionalism of the BFP in realizing their mandate,” Duterte said.  -- BAP, GMA News

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