The Bureau of Fire Protection yesterday warned businessmen in Bacolod City to install sprinkler systems in their establishments or they will be fined administratively or face closure.
Bacolod City Fire marshal, Chief Insp. Bartolome Beliran, said this is because the moratorium on the retroactive implementation of the sprinkler system ended on February 14 and has not been extended.
Businessmen in Bacolod had asked Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II for an additional six months to one year extension on the moratorium but it was not granted.
Beliran said their fire inspectors have started checking several buildings in Bacolod as part of the requirements for the renewal of business permits, and noted that while many have already installed sprinkler systems, some are yet to be installed while others remain defiant.
He said they will issue notices of violations to the owners of the buildings without sprinkler systems and if they will not comply, then the BFP will recommend the stoppage of their operations.
Beliran stressed that, although the businessmen disagree with certain provisions of the sprinkler law, they need to abide with it and the BFP is only carrying out its responsibility to ensure that the provisions of the fire code are being followed.
Asked for his reaction, architect Ramiro Garcia, member of the Bacolod Ad-Hoc Committee on the Fire Code of the Philippines, said they are already giving up the fight on the sprinkler law.
Garcia said they tried to appeal for an extension of its implementation but, apparently, their plea was not heard, so they cannot do anything but comply.*APN