MANILA — To ensure the safety of thousands of students living in dormitories this school year, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino urged local government officials (LGUs) in Metro Manila on Sunday to conduct random inspection of these structures in their respective jurisdictions before the opening of classes next month to ascertain whether they are compliant with fire safety regulations and standards.
With the spate of fire incidents these summer months, Tolentino asked building officials and Bureau of Fire personnel to vigorously inspect dormitories, schools and similar structures early to give building owners adequate time to comply with fire safety requirements.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so the adage goes. Taking advantage of the summer vacation on the part of building owners to correct deficiencies that may be discovered by inspection teams will go a long way to keep the students out of harm’s way,” he said.
The MMDA chief reminded personnel of city building officials to ensure that the dormitories they are inspecting have adequate and functioning fire exits, fire alarms and other fire safety equipment.
Inspectors should also look into the conditions of students living in dormitories, especially those cramped in dingy and inhumane quarters.
“All these without mandatory fire safety requirements constitute clear violation of the Fire Code of the Philippines and as such, violators should not be left unpunished,” he said.
Tolentino’s appeal to local government officials and building owners to implement fire safety rules came on the heels of the recent fire that gutted a rubber slipper factory in Valenzuela City which left 72 workers.
Initial findings of investigators reportedly showed that the factory was wanting in fire safety requirements.