Meralco Partners with BFP for an Electrically and Fire Safe Philippines

Quezon City – Wednesday morning, members of the BFP Quezon City, Meralco, One Meralco Foundation, Inc., and Integrated Institute of Electrical Engineers conducted an electrical audit and electrical fire safety inspection at Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH). They prioritize reinforcing electrical and fire safety in hospitals as the pandemic continues to jack up patient and activity levels in healthcare facilities. Such move is also in line with the Memorandum of Understanding between Meralco and DILG last December 21, 2020, subsequently passed as a DILG Memorandum Circular dated January 25, 2021. The circular reiterates the agreement of the parties, including the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP), to support each other in implementing relevant laws and government issuances, such as the Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act; Ease of Doing Business Act; Anti-Electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act; National Building Code; Philippine Electrical Code; Revised Fire Code; Revised Penal Code; and DILG Memorandum Circulars (MC) on Road Clearing. In a separate statement by Undersecretary for Peace and Order Bernardo C. Florece, Jr. released by the DILG, said circular also aims to control the power thieves. For the BFP, this partnership with the leading power supply company enhances, as it amplifies, the bureau’s electrical fire safety programs. Over the years, electrical connection issues have been the top cause of fires in Metro Manila, constituting an average of 53.85% of the total fires yearly. From 2016 to 2020, the mean decrease in electrical fire incidents is 6.08% only. The biggest decline recorded was from year 2018 (2,644) to 2019 (2,190) at 17.17%. This year, electrical arcing still dominates the electrical causes of fires in NCR, with 287 (25.30%) of the 1,134 fires from January to April 2021. Further, of the 338 recorded residential fires in Manila, 123 (36.39%) of these were due to electrical ignition caused by arcing, loose connection, overloading, pinched wire, and/or overheated home appliances. Despite the relentless campaign of Meralco and BFP for electrical and fire safety, educating the public about the dangers of octopus connection and illegal jumpers, to name a few, electrical fires are ever on the rise with the increasing electricity consumption. With this private-public partnership, the parties to the MOU are looking at a radical decrease in problems and accidents involving the use of electricity and better or higher satisfaction of consumers. DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that the parties behind this undertaking are “acting upon the best interests of the public – uninterrupted delivery of electric service and public safety.” CSUPT Gilbert D Dolot, BFP NCR Director, is on top of ensuring BFP’s commitments in this program are fulfilled within the metro, starting with the first joint inspection at QCGH. Hospital Directress, Dra. Josephine B Sabando; Engr. Richard Cruz; Engr. Jesselle Obido,Welmar Apostol; Meralco Technical Operations & Project Management Vice President & Head, Jun Milla, PEE, MEngg,MSc; Quezon City District Fire Director, SSUPT Gary R Alto; Chief, Fire Safety Enforcement Branch, CINSP Anthony R Arroyo; and Bahay-Toro Engine Commander, INSP Rodrigo Delos Santos are the members of the inspecting Electrical Safety Committee.