With this year's Fire Prevention Month theme, "Ligtas na Pilipinas ang ating hangad, pag-iingat sa sarili ay ipatupad," BFP-NCR official Chief Inspector Jessie Calumpiano said they have gathered the "most creative" Metro Manila grade school and high school students and fire personnel who vied for top prizes through the creative arts such as drawing, essay, poster making, and band battle.
Mr. Calumpiano said the activity center of the Farmers Plaza mall became a good venue to teach fire safety.
"We do understand that conducting such event is one way wherein the Bureau of Fire Protection can reach out to the public. This is what we are showing to the public, how important fire prevention is. We have been celebrating such event every year. Thank you for the cooperation of everybody. Thank you to Farmers Plaza mall for accommodating us here. We welcome you to witness this momentous event," he said in his opening remarks. The official fill in for Regional Director SSupt. Roel Jeremy Diaz, who was unavailable due to more pressing matters.
For her part, Public Information Services chief Senior Fire Officer I Gladdes Arreco said their agency has been encouraging and involving students to understand the importance of fire safety on and off-campus and in their everyday lives.
"Taon-taon pong ginagawa ng Bureau of Fire ang ganitong pa-contest para ma-involve po an gating mga kabataan, ang ating mga estudyante," Arreco said.
Ang kalahok po dito ay lahat ng schools all over Metro Manila. Sa city level nagkaroon po ng screening, then from there, napili po sa bawat siyudad, and then regional meet na po ito, regional screening, o regional finals. Lahat po ng mga events namin ngayon sa poster making, essay, and battle of the bands ay mayroon pong cash prize na ibibgay ang Bureau of Fire Protection to acknowledge po 'yung effort ng ating mga contestant," she added.
The winners, who will represent Metro Manila in the national meet, were as follows:
Drawing contest (Elementary) P8,000 for top prize
1stRaia Athene Manalo of Academia de Santo Rosario in Malabon City
2ndNica Steffany Jimenez of Bayanan Elementary School, Muntinlupa City
3rdCarl Albert Lique of Pateros Elementary School
Poster making (High School) P8,000 cash for top prize
1stAnnbri Castro of Manuel A, Roxas High School in Manila
2ndMayshelle Janzenne Reyes of Ramon Magsaysay High School in Quezon City
3rdTesha Yumol of Makati City High School
Essay contest (High School)
1stJanna Louise Bravo of LakeviewIntegrated School of Muntinlupa City
2ndMaurinne Angeline Guloy of Neptali A. Gonzales High School of Mandaluyong City
3rdGabriel Ryan Tamayo Saint Andrew School of Paranaque City
Photo contest (Amateur photographers) P8,000 cash for top prize
1stRicky James Arrogante of BFP Fire District IV
2ndLeo Azores of the Office of the Regional Director, BFP
3rdKent Michael Grayda of the Office of the Regional Director, BFP
Battle of the Band (Amateur bands) P15,000 cash for top prize
1stBFP-NCR Close Encounter Band
3rdQuezon City Fire District Band
Meanwhile, Ms. Arreco warned the public of buying or using substandard electrical appliance or extension cords, as electrical fire remains the top cause of fire incidents in Metro Manila.
"For the last three years ang pinakamataas na cause ng sunog sa Metro Manila ay (sanhi ng) electrical fire. Ito po 'yung short circuit na nangyayari sanhi po ng substandard appliances at extension cords," she said.
Last Wednesday, on the eve of the observance of Fire Prevention Month, some 1,000 persons lost their homes in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City when a fire broke out due to an unattended cellular phone charger. (EPC/JCP/PIA-NCR)