Fire bureau personnel harassing Makati businesses – Binay
MANILA, Philippines – Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay Jr on Friday, January 17, asked the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to address the complaints againts its personnel, whom businessmen in the city accuse of "harassment and coercion."
"Some BFP personnel are using the Fire Code to force or coerce businesses into buying fire extinguishers and sprinklers from fire personnel themselves," said Binay.
In a press release, Binay said companies relay this complaint to his office when they apply for business permits.
What the BFP personnel is doing runs counter to President Benigno Aquino III's "goal of making [the Philippines] more attractive to investors," he said. "It is disappointing that one national government agency can throw a roadblock on our President's program."
Businesses are required to submit to city hall Fire Safety Inspection Certificates (FSIC) from the BFP before they are granted business permits. By requiring companies to buy fire extinguishers from BFP personnel in exchange for the certificates, fire bureau employees are making the process more tedious for Makati businessmen.
“The reports of harassment by some BFP personnel are alarming and need to be addressed by the BFP with urgency,” Binay said.
"Makati and the other local government units have been taking steps to support the national government’s program to cut down processing time for business permits. But we have here a national government agency burdening investors by adding a layer of red tape," added Binay. – Bea Cupin/Rappler.com