Duterte eyes total ban on fireworks next year

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    PRESIDENT Duterte on Monday night said he is considering a total ban of the use of fireworks in 2021 due to dangers these pose on the health and safety of the people.

    The President, in his weekly public address, acknowledged that some Filipinos are depending on the firecracker industry for their livelihood, especially those from Bulacan. He said he is giving those involved in the industry a year to prepare.

    “I was toying with the idea of making it just like Davao (City). Maybe, ganito na lang, tutal nandiyan pa tayo ngayon, may one year pa kayo next December. Baka next December i-bawal ko na ang paputok (I was toying with the idea of making it just like Davao. Maybe, let’s put it this way. You still have one year until next December. Maybe next December I’ll ban fireworks),” he said.

    In February last year, the President said he would ban the sale and use of firecrackers and fireworks. However, in October 2019, he said the decision to ban the use of firecrackers would be left to local government units (LGUs).

    In June 2017, Duterte issued Executive Order No. 28 that regulated and controlled the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices. The order states that the use of firecrackers will be confined to community fireworks displays to minimize the risk of injuries and casualties.

    Permit specifying the date and time of the display and the specific area where it will be conducted are required, along with the presence of a trained person duly licensed by the Philippine National Police

    The President stressed fireworks are dangerous and he wants these banned “for reasons of public safety and health.”

    He said a person can lose fingers or hands, and can even die when fireworks explode.

    Inhalation of the smoke and powder explosives from firecrackers also poses a health problem, he said.

    Duterte said instead of using firecrackers, families could spend the Christmas and New Year with the family “without anyone getting injured or dying.”

    “So, I am putting you on a warning na baka by mid-year, I will issue the necessary document banning totally — totally banning paputok (So, I am putting you on a warning that maybe by mid-year, I will issue the necessary document banning totally — totally banning fireworks),” he added.

    PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas vowed a strict implementation of the policy against the Illegal manufacture of firecrackers.

    In a press briefing in Camp Crame, Sinas said firecrackers are illegal unless they are made by licensed manufacturers.

    Sinas said policemen will confiscate firecrackers sold by unauthorized dealers.

    “To the manufacturers, if you have permit, just continue,” he said.