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Meralco, BFP Partner to Strengthen Emergency Response

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PARTNERSHIP FOR PUBLIC SAFETY. In a bid to further strengthen their initiatives to promote fire safety and prevention, a memorandum of agreement was recently signed by Meralco and BFP officials: (front row, from left) Meralco FVP and Head of Human Resources and Corporate Services Mr. Edgardo V. Carasig, Meralco President and CEO Atty. Ray C. Espinosa, BFP-NCR Regional Director CSUPT Gilbert D. Dolot PhD DSC, and Regional Chief Directorial Staff SSUPT Achilles M. Santiago PhD DSC. Also present during the signing were Meralco officials: (back row, from left) VP and Head of Organizational Safety and Business Continuity Management Engr. Antonio M. Abuel, Jr., VP and Head of Facilities, Security and General Services Engr. Benjamin U. Cusi, SVP and Head of Legal and Corporate Governance Atty. William S. Pamintuan, and AVP and Head of Local Government and Special Projects Atty. Oscar P. Moreno, Jr. (Note: Public health standards were strictly followed during the event and face masks were only removed for the photo.)

To further promote and enhance public safety, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) have joined forces for a stronger emergency response capability within the BFP-NCR’s area of operation. 

Under the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed recently, Meralco and the BFP will collaborate to organize, train, and operationalize a fire brigade team that will be based inside the Meralco Operating Center in Pasig City. Through this partnership, the Meralco Fire Brigade will be able to help in immediately responding to fire incidents in the nearby communities and other slow-onset emergencies within Meralco’s franchise area. It will also significantly contribute to the BFP’s goal of reaching the target firegrounds within the ideal response time of five to seven minutes. 

Core to the emergency response capability in addressing public safety are fire suppression, search and rescue, and health emergency response. To this end, Meralco will organize the Meralco Rescue team, which will be composed of safety, facilities, and security personnel, as well as employee volunteers. The BFP, on the other hand, will assign competent officers and personnel to train and equip them with the necessary capabilities and competencies that will help them carry out their responsibilities. 

Meralco will also construct its own fire station within the compound to further support the fire brigade’s 24/7 operations. Expected to be fully operational by the third quarter of 2023, this will serve as the fire emergency response center, training facility for the firefighters and rescue teams, and communication link between Meralco and the BFP.  The new fire station will likewise house the teams’ specialized equipment such as fire trucks, water tankers, rescue tenders, and rescue boats.  

Chief Superintendent Gilbert D. Dolot, Regional Director of BFP-NCR, expressed the BFP’s “deepest appreciation to Meralco for the partnership”, adding: “We are partners who will never cease to explore opportunities and avenues for the improvement of public safety, and we are very happy to see that Meralco is doing its part not only by delivering its corporate goals. It went beyond by venturing in public safety as part of its social responsibility.”

Meralco President and CEO Atty. Ray C. Espinosa, for his part, said: “Meralco’s primary mission is to provide safe, reliable, affordable, and efficient electricity service to all customers within our franchise area.  As part of our mandate, safety and protection are very important functions as well.”

“It is in this light that we have developed a plan to establish a fully operational and complementary fire station here in Meralco to serve not just the needs of Meralco but also the needs of our nearby communities, particularly Pasig and Mandaluyong. And with the help of the BFP, we plan to operationalize this fire station and develop our own fire and rescue unit. We thank the BFP for making this a reality for us, and hopefully we can be part of your private sector support and join your runs in addressing fire incidents in Metro Manila,” Mr. Espinosa said during the MOA signing. 

Recognizing that its business and operations are imbued with public interest, Meralco aims to provide a safe work environment for its employees and constituents by strengthening its emergency response capability.  Seen in the photo is an artist’s rendition of the planned Meralco Fire Station.

With safety as one of its key priorities, Meralco has been a long-time partner of the BFP in promoting fire prevention and safety awareness.  During the celebration of Fire Prevention Month last March, Meralco participated in BFP’s activities aimed at boosting innovative fire safety and prevention programs. They also partnered to regularly conduct fire safety and prevention trainings and electrical safety seminars to educate the public.

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