Call raised for purchase of firefighting helicopters in the Philippines amid rising fire incidents


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Deputy Speaker Frasco urges for helicopters to improve firefighting efforts in the Philippines

Deputy Speaker and Cebu 5th District Representative, Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco, has advocated for the purchase of firefighting helicopters following a notable increase in fire incidents in the Philippines.

On Tuesday, Frasco introduced House Resolution 1686, which calls on the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to allocate funds for these helicopters in the proposed 2025 budget.

Fire incidents in the country have risen by 25 percent in just the first two months of this year.

Frasco highlighted that aerial firefighting would markedly improve the speed and efficiency of fire suppression operations.

Challenges in urban firefighting

Frasco commented on the persistent challenges in managing fires, particularly in densely populated areas: “For the past years, fire incidents have become a big problem in the Philippines.

“Among the most common challenges encountered while responding to such fires especially in densely populated and residential areas are the delayed arrival of firefighters due to severe traffic congestion and their difficulty in accessing the fire-affected and congested sites due to minimal and low upgrade firefighting gears, equipment, and vehicles,” Frasco said.

In his resolution, Frasco emphasised the need to enhance the capabilities of the BFP, ensuring its responsiveness by upgrading the level of its fire protection services through the acquisition of modern equipment and vehicles like firefighting helicopters.

Alignment with the BFP Modernization Program

House Resolution 1686 aligns with the ongoing BFP Modernization Program, initiated under Republic Act No. 11589.

This program aims to enhance the capabilities of BFP personnel and improve the acquisition of advanced fire prevention, suppression, and emergency services equipment.

With his resolution, Deputy Speaker Frasco aims to advance the modernization of the BFP to better fulfil its mandate of ensuring public safety through the prevention and suppression of all types of fires, with community support.

IFSJ Comment

The push for firefighting helicopters by Deputy Speaker Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco represents a proactive approach to address the escalating fire incidents in the Philippines.

By enhancing the aerial firefighting capabilities, the proposal aims to significantly improve response times and operational effectiveness in urban areas, where traditional methods are often hindered by infrastructure constraints.

The potential inclusion of these helicopters in the BFP’s arsenal could set a new standard for firefighting across the nation, providing a faster, more efficient response to emergencies and potentially saving lives and properties.

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