New BFP chief orders inspection of BPO firms


BACOLOD CITY Mayor Evelio Leonardia (left) stresses the need to ensure the safety of BPO agents as he urged the Bureau of Fire Protection to strictly enforce requirements on fire safety during a press conference morning of Jan 3, 2018 with Fire Chief Inspector Pobleo Ploteña (right). (D. Yasa)

BACOLOD City – Fire Chief Inspector Pobleo Ploteña, the new head of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) here, ordered the mandatory inspections of all Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firms in the city following the deadly fire in Davao City which killed 38 people, mostly call center agents

Ploteña, who was at the Bacolod City Government Center on Jan 3, 2018 for a courtesy call to Mayor Evelio Leonardia, said there is a need to inspect all BPO firms located in high-rise buildings.

He said the checks will ensure that all companies have well-established fire suppression capabilities such as the automatic sprinkler systems and fire detection systems which would alert the building’s occupants on where they could escape.

Ploteña has also ordered the city’s local fire safety inspector to make sure that all establishments have operational and well-maintained fire exits.

Leonardia said the inspections are important as the estimated 28,000 strong BPO working force generates billions of pesos for the city.

“We cannot afford for this industry to falter,” Leonardia said.

He also said call center companies should be encouraged to conduct regular fire drills to avoid a repeat of the Davao City tragedy.

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