By Elinando B. Cinco
Perhaps the horror of the two fires in the city not too long ago was too much of a trauma. The pain of experiencing the unnecessary loss of human lives and the destruction of property was extremely difficult to bear.
These preventable disasters must have made Quezon City officials pledge to residents that tragedies like those should never happen again.
In subsequent investigations by city hall, it was unearthed that those fires could have been avoided had the owners of the establishments where the tragedy occurred only followed and installed safety precautions.
The memories of the Hotel Manor fire on Kamias Street where 75 guests and hotel employees perished, and the burning of the Ozone Disco Club on Timog Avenue (where 160 teenagers lost their lives) could not easily be erased from memory.
Hence, authorities vowed that those types of misfortune should never be repeated.
Last Monday the Quezon City government took one step to avoid a costly conflagration from occurring again in the city.
It organized a joint team of experienced officials from the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Business Permits and Licensing Office, and trained personnel from the city’s own Fire Department, Emergency and Safety Office.
The objective – conduct regular inspections of student dormitories and boarding houses, especially those located near schools, to ensure that fire-safety measures and hazard-free facilities are in place.
The owners of these establishments must adhere to the letter to the stringent regulations imposed by city hall. Non-compliance with those measures would mean the automatic cancellation of the owners’ permit.
The joint inspection team will also look into the sanitary facilities of those establishments, alongside fire-exits, and proper plumbing.
City Hall says there are more than 60 registered students’ dormitories and boarding houses in the city. Most of them are in such high student population areas like Krus na Ligas, Katipunan Avenue, Cubao district, and the Sta. Mesa-Manila boundary where the Polytechnic University of the Philippines is located.
Well-meaning residents and concerned organizations welcome this move of City Hall.
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