UP Shopping Center compliant with fire regulations – chancellor

MANILA, Philippines – University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan maintained that the school's buildings are compliant with all requirements of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), including the now-gutted UP Shopping Center.

"Yes, especially for the shopping center, because it was only renovated last year and it is a place of high traffic for students so we cannot take chances on this," Tan said in a chance interview on Thursday, March 8.

Tan was responding to a reporter who asked whether UP Diliman and the establishments it houses comply with fire safety regulations.

How UP is compliant: According to Tan, they regularly check their "extinguishers, sprinklers, and the wiring itself." The UP Shopping Center's ceiling wiring was the suspected cause of Thursday's fire.

The fire exit plan for the building worked well too, Tan emphasized, as no casualties were recorded, save for a fireman whose hand got lacerated from clearing burnt roofing materials. (IN PHOTOS: Inside the UP Shopping Center after the fire)

"They themselves (BFP) said it, that even the best [fall victim] if the wiring gets overloaded," Tan said.

What happens to shop owners: Prior to responding to reporters' questions, Tan held a consultation with the UP Shopping Center's shop owners.

NOW: UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan holds a consultation with UP Shopping Center shop owners. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/IR3GhJjtKO — Rambo Talabong (@rambotalabong) March 8, 2018


Tan said UP Diliman will lend them temporary relocation sites so they can continue with their businesses. According to the chancellor, they are aiming to construct a new building by March 2019. (READ: From photocopying services to Rodic's: What's inside UP Shopping Center– Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.