Welcome to Rappler, a social news network where stories inspire community engagement and digitally fuelled actions for social change. Rappler comes from the root words “rap” (to discuss) + “ripple” (to make waves). The Commission on Audit finds that there are only 23,030 firefighters in the Philippines – less than half of the ideal number MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) flagged the insufficient manpower and shortage of fire trucks of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP). In a report released on Friday, June 29, state auditors noted that the bureau does not follow the standard set by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) of one fireman for every 2,000 people. With only 23,030 firefighters, the current roster is less than half of the ideal number of 50,490 firefighters. The BFP said it requested a bigger budget to hire at least 10,000 more personnel. The DBM, however, only approved allocations for 2,000. The bureau also said it will enhance coordination with local officials to designate fire prevention officers and work on campaigns, among others. Aside from the insufficient manpower, only half of BFP personnel have basic pro...