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๐’๐๐€๐-๐๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ฎ๐ž๐ญ, ๐๐๐‚ ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ก ๐…๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐…๐ข๐ซ๐ž ๐‘๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ž ๐“๐ซ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ 

๐‘†๐‘–๐‘š๐‘ข๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘™๐‘™๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘“๐‘–๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘“๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘š ๐‘ ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘‘๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘˜๐‘’๐‘  ๐‘๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘๐‘–๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘  ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐น๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘ ๐‘ก ๐น๐‘–๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘…๐‘’๐‘ ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘ ๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐ต๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘ ๐น๐‘–๐‘Ÿ๐‘ ๐‘ก ๐ด๐‘–๐‘‘ & ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’ ๐‘†๐‘ข๐‘๐‘๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก ๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘ข๐‘๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘๐‘ฆ ๐‘†๐‘๐ด๐‘ƒ-๐ต๐‘’๐‘›๐‘”๐‘ข๐‘’๐‘ก ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘๐‘ƒ๐ถ.

In recent years, the frequency of forest fires have posed a significant threat to rural communities. These fires, exacerbated by dry conditions, can spread rapidly, and rural communities are susceptible to such incidents.

To help address this issue and increase the Bokod and Itogon communitiesโ€™ awareness of the threat of forest fires, SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet (SNAP-Benguet), in partnership with the National Power Corporation (NPC), conducted a three-day training on Forest Fire Response and First Aid & Basic Life Support from February 14-16, 2024.

The training exercises with simulations were facilitated by experienced resource persons from the Bureau of Fire (BFP), NPC-Upper Agno Watershed Area Team (UARWAT), and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for residents of Itogon and Bokod, host municipalities of SNAP-Benguetโ€™s Ambuklao and Binga hydroelectric power plants.

Over the course of three days, subject matter experts spoke about the devastating impact of forest fires and led practical training sessions to equip participants with the necessary skills to respond effectively, including basic first aid training.

UARWAT Watershed Management Chief, Forester Benjamin Kimmayong, stressed the importance of adopting an Incident Command System (ICS) and Quick Response Team (QRT) to manage and suppress forest fires which is stipulated in the Community-Based Forest Fire Protection and Management Plan in the Upper Agno Watershed. He said that part of forest fire management is the development of a forest fire incident database and a common operational map incorporating locations of firelines and natural fuel breaks meant to be shared with all stakeholders. He emphasized on the negative impact of uncontrolled forest fires to the community and biodiversity.

In a recent report by the Philippine News Agency, more than 20 forest fires have been recorded in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) since January 2024, including those that occurred in the villages of Itogon and Bokod.

Since January, SNAP-Benguet has been coordinating with the local government units of the affected host communities, the BFP, NPC, and other responders on efforts to contain forest fires in the area. As part of its technical agreement with NPC on forest fire protection within the 2.5-kilometer area beginning from the high water mark of the Ambuklao and Binga reservoir, SNAP-Benguet has been monitoring fire suppression activities. The company has also provided assistance such as fuel and food.

Water from the Ambuklao and Binga reservoirs is being drawn for fire suppression activities by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

SNAP Group Chief Operations Officer Mike Hosillos said, โ€œWe hope that this training helps create more awareness and enables our communities to take more proactive measures to prevent forest fires. Early detection and containment can help prevent the spread, reduce damage, and reduce risk of injury and death from fires. SNAP-Benguet, together with our partners in the community, hope to build a collective defense against forest fires, ensuring the safety of people, livelihood, and the environment.โ€

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๐ƒ๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ, ๐๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐‹๐ฎ๐ง๐œ๐ก ๐š๐ญ ๐‡๐ข๐ฅ๐ญ๐จ๐ง ๐‚๐ฅ๐š๐ซ๐คโ€™๐ฌ ๐—๐ข ๐‘๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ฎ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ญ

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