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MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Nov. 9 (PIA) -- Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) directly challenged seven (7) local government units in the province who have no space for their own fire department to just find a suitable area, and his agency will take care of the rest.

“Look for a private landowner who can donate land for a fire station, and DILG will equip it with a firetruck and corresponding personnel complete with gadgets and fire-fighting apparatus,”

Sarmiento said on a rain-soaked Thursday morning November 4 at the Camp Alfredo K. Bantug provincial PNP headquarters.

Sarmiento was in the city as guest of honor and speaker for the turn-over rites of 18 units Mahindra patrol jeeps to the police field stations in eighteen (18) municipalities, the keys accepted by the Mayors and the respective chiefs of police, assisted by P/Sr. Supt. Nicerio Obaob, PNP Provincial Director, Gov. Roger Mercado and Cong. Damian Mercado.

Also present were Chief Supt. Cedrick Train, OIC Police Regional Director and Deputy Director-General Marcelo Garbo.

Towards the end of his 30-minute speech, Sarmiento said the DILG has enough funds for construction of police and fire stations once the LGUs can have their lots as counterpart.

Checking his list, he said only the town of Silago needed a police station, while those needing fire stations he mentioned seven: Silago, Hinunangan, Saint Bernard, Liloan, San Ricardo, Sogod, and Macrohon.

Mayors of those seven towns, except Nap Cuaton of Saint Bernard, were attending the turn-over ceremony.

The Police and Fire Department are under the so-called DILG family.

Sarmiento said the 18 units Mahindra patrol jeeps he distributed for the province were part of the 1,490 units provided by DILG to all police field units nationwide to be used as mobility in their routine task of fighting crime and maintaining peace and order in their respective communities. (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)