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JdV distributes asbestos suits to firemen in memory of daughter

Posted by breakingnews on January 23, 2006

DAGUPAN CITY — In memory of his daughter KC, who died in a fire in their home in Makati City on Dec. 17, 2004, House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. is making available asbestos firefighting suits to each of the fire departments of 30 major cities throughout the country.

Two of these firefighting suits imported from Austria costing $5,000 dollars each, including import duties, were handed by de Venecia in a simple ceremony in his home here to the Dagupan City Fire Department headed by Fire Chief Inspector Manuel Manuel and to the Filipino-Chinese Panda Firefighting Brigade, also of Dagupan City.

De Venecia said the use of the firefighting suit was demonstrated in an actual fire when he was in Austria some months ago as guest of the Austrian Parliament.

Impressed by the demonstration, he ordered 30 of these for distribution to as many  major cities in the Philippines, among them Dagupan, San Carlos, Urdaneta and Alaminos, all in Pangasinan, Makati, Manila, Quezon City, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, General Santos, Zamboanga, Angeles, Baguio and others.

He said he will turnover the other asbestos firefighting suits to Interior and Local Government Secretary Angelo Reyes and Director Rogelio Asignado, chief of the Bureau of Fire Protection nationwide, for distribution to the other cities.

De Venecia said he had been working with the two officials since after his daughter KC perished in the fire, in a move to strengthen fire departments all over the country.

The firefighting suits were purchased by De Venecia from his own pork barrel fund.

He asked other congressmen in the entire country to follow his example by also allocating part of their pork barrels to equip the fire departments in their areas so that they can perform better.

“I am not only sharing my pork barrel in Pangasinan but with all the provinces in the Philippines in order to protect senior citizens, the disabled citizens, babies, children and others who are trapped in fires.

He lamented that when there was a fire in his home in Makati, his daughter could have been saved if the firefighters had their equipment that may have enabled one of them to enter into the burning house and rescue his daughter KC.

De Venecia said he and his eldest son Joey tried to save KC but they could not because the fire and smoke were so strong.

“This is what I would like to do for our country, especially the fire departments all over the country,” he said, pointing to the firefighting suits, which looked like the suits being worn by American astronauts.

At the same time, he said he helped create and modernize a firefighting ward at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila to exclusively serve burnt victims.

He inaugurated the ward with his wife Gina some two months ago.

“So, we are implementing all the promises we had made. But the country needs so much more,” de Venecia said.

De Venecia also asked the governors and mayors to contribute their internal revenue allotment in order to strengthen all the fire departments in the Philippines. (PNA)


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