Fire hits Comelec office in Manila; personnel, important files and data are safe

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A FIRE broke out at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Intramuros, Manila on the early evening of July 31, 2022.

According to Atty. John Rex Laudiangco, Comelec Acting Spokesperson, the fire started around 6:48 pm at the reception area of the Information Technology Department (ITD) at the seventh floo.

Guards on duty used fire extinguishers and evacuated ITD personnel, and immediately reported the incident to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Intramuros Station.

Fire trucks arrived and the first alarm was raised at 6:53 pm, and the second one at 7:02 pm.

The blaze was declared under control at around 8:05 pm and fire out declared at 8:16 pm, according to the Comelec acting spokesperson.

Comelec Executive Director Bartolome Sinocruz, Jr., Laudiangco, key ITD and BFP Personnel immediately conducted an initial damage and risk assessment and declared that the fire was at the ITD reception area with limited damage to property and equipment. Other departments and offices at the seventh floor, including other floors, were safe from fire damage, according to Laudiangco.

ITD personnel, duty guards, electricians and other general services personnel were promptly evacuated.

Likewise, Laudiangco assured that all Comelec servers and vaults located at the ITD, plus all equipment and documents in all offices and departments at the main office are safe, intact, undamaged and secure.

As to the election results and date, the same are safe, secure, intact and unaffected and remains to be on live posting both at the Comelec official website and the election results website,” says Laudiangco in a report released by the poll body.

Back-up of such is intact and safe, kept as well at our secured vault,” he added.

Laudiangco said Voter’s Registration Data are also safe, secure, intact and unaffected at another secured vault, with back-up files secured at an off-site location.

He said that given the limited area directly affected by the fire, he likewise assured that other digital and physical files, administrative, operational and judicial, are all safe, secure, intact and unaffected.

“We shall be fully cooperating with the BFP and the Palacio del Gobernador building administration to determine the cause of the fire and to ensure further safety of all Comelec offices.

He likewise thanked the Comelec’s security force, General Services Division personnel and ITD staff in implementing the fire management plan and for being steadfast in their duties during and after the fire.

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