Discipline: Public Administration
The primary purpose of this study was to assess the organization and operation of Volunteer Fire Brigades (VFBs) in the City of Vigan. Specifically, it aimed to determine the level of attainment of the objectives of the organization of VFBs, level of awareness on the organization of VFBs, and degree of seriousness of the problems encountered in the organization and operation of VFBs as perceived by the respondents. In the light of the respondents’ perceptions, it is concluded that the respondents all agreed that the objectives of the existing Volunteer Fire Brigades (VFBs) are satisfactorily attained; they are not completely aware of the mandatory organization of VFBs in the barangays; they all agreed that the encountered problems are not so much serious but they are united in claiming that insufficiency of fund is the primary hindrance to the organization and operation of VFBs; and generally, there is no significant difference on the perceptions of the respondents.
The following recommendations are designed to address the problems encountered in the organization and operation of VFBs in Vigan City: 1. Review by the legislative body of the law providing for the mandatory creation and organization of VFBs in the barangays and in business establishments for possible allocation of budgets to answer the insufficiency of funds; a. The government should distribute financial subsidy or at least provide financial assistance to the private entities and barangays who has existing VFBs; b. The government should also allocate contingency funds for the VFBs actively participating in fire prevention and fire protection activities; 2. The BFP should mobilize its personnel to disseminate information to the concerned individuals (barangay captains, managers of big establishments) about the mandatory creation of VFBs such as distribution of flyers, posting of banners and posters, giving out free stickers to motor vehicle owners, and visit to radio and television networks for public service announcement; 3. The BFP should also mobilize the existing VFB personnel to train other persons to join the VFB; 4. The BFP should institute regular award system to committed members of VFBs and committed barangay officials and business managers; 5. The BFP should solicit the assistance of big establishments particularly with wide open grounds for possible training ground; 6. The BFP should conduct quarterly or bi-annually competition on fire drills, fire fighting, and disaster drills among the VFBs, the students, and employees of private and public establishments. This is to enhance the skills, abilities, and alertness of the community in dealing with destructive fires. This aims also to build camaraderie and unity among the people in the community; 7. There should be strict, impartial, and consistent enforcement of the Fire Code of the Philippines and other Fire Prevention-related ordinances to offset the temporary lack of VFBs; and finally, 8. Other researchers may conduct similar studies concerning Volunteer Fire Brigades as well as on the importance of preserving the international heritage structures in Vigan City.