PHOTO-LUMINESCENT SIGNS. Councilor Mabel Sunga Acosta proposes for an ordinance requiring establishments to install photo-luminescent or glow-in-the-dark paint in areas leading to all available emergency exits during City Council’s regular session on Tuesday, January 9. (Robby Joy D. Salveron /

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Councilor Mabel Acosta proposed on Tuesday, January 9, that establishments be required to install glow-in-the-dark emergency exit signs following the tragic fire incident in NCCC Mall.

In her privilege speech at the City Council, Acosta explained that the said measure may help answer some problems faced during emergency situations especially in enclosed areas like malls and government buildings.

“The installation of glow-in-the-dark paint would save valuable seconds for people unsure of where the nearest possible exit is and guide them toward safety without having to fumble around in the dark,” she said.

The photo-luminescent signs painted in areas leading to stairwells, pathways and all emergency exits will serve as a guide for people to follow in case of emergency especially when power goes out, the councilor explained.

Acosta said this should not be a burden among establishments since “this option is electricity free, requires minimal maintenance, is longer lasting, and can illuminate a wider area than regular emergency lights.”

The proposed measure is scheduled for committee hearings.

The fire incident in December 2017 gutted the 14-year-old local shopping center NCCC Mall and claimed lives of the workers including 37 call center employees said to be trapped at the fourth level of the mall where a business process outsourcing company was located.

“While we await the report of the Bureau of Fire, we as legislators and as representatives of the people of Davao City can introduce practical measures that may save precious lives,” Acosta said. (

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