The Bureau of Customs is working to restore systems and facilities for the operations at the Port of Manila after it was gutted by fire.
Customs Commissioner Rey Guerrero said in a statement today (Saturday, February 23) that work would continue over the weekend following last night’s blaze.
“The situation requires that we restore and re-establish systems and facilities that were destroyed by the fire, at the soonest possible time, for us to resume normal operations.
“The Port of Manila and the Central Office will be working during this long weekend in order to make this possible.”
While he expressed sadness over the incident, he added that he was thankful that no one was hurt.
“We need to bounce back from this tragic event. And while this would be a long and difficult process, with your full support for the institution, BOC will not be daunted by this temporary setback.
“BOC’s fast recovery from this tragedy will be done. Now more than ever is the time for us to work together. God bless us all,” he added.
The BOC said the blaze started on the third floor of the building at about 9pm and reached the fifth alarm before it was declared out at 7.10am this morning.
More than 30 fire trucks were deployed, while the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police also responded.
Second fire hits residential area
Elsewhere in Metro Manila yesterday, about 1,000 families were left homeless and five people injured in a massive fire that hit a residential area in Mandaluyong City.
Superintendent Christine Cula, Mandaluyong City fire marshal, said the fire started at 4.20pm in Barangay Addition Hills. In just an hour, the blaze destroyed more than 300 houses, mostly made out of light materials.
Among the injured were Senior Fire Officer Luciano Regis and a 14-year-old girl who suffered smoke inhalation.
Eighteen trucks helped to battle the fire that created a black smoke plume that towered over the city. The fire was declared out at 10.12pm and caused damage estimated at 2.5 million pesos.
Investigations are continuing into the causes of both of yesterday’s fires.
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