DILG to observe strict enforcement of illegal firecracker ban

Marje Pelayo   •   December 12, 2019   •   468

(FILE) A Filipino making firecrackers in Bulacan, north of Manila, Philippines on 16 November, 2010. EPA-EFE/VAL HAMUNDON

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will intensify its monitoring against the use of illegal firecrackers in the year-end revelry.

Specifically, the DILG noted the effectiveness of Executive Order 28 which limits the use of firecrackers and assignment of community fireworks display instead.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said they will rely on the EO as there is no law yet that totally bans firecrackers in the country.

“Firecrackers and pyro-techniques are legal,” Malaya said.

“Pero may mga ipinagbabawal tayo under EO 28 – iyong Picolo, mga Judas belt, iyong goodbye Philippines (But several firecrackers are illegal under EO 28 – the Piccolo, Judas belt and goodbye Philippines),” he added.

Malaya said the firecracker-related accidents and incidents of fire were reduced since the EO was implemented.

As a routine, members of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) are making rounds to ensure that no illegal firecrackers are being sold in markets.

“Ang maganda ngayon kahit gustuhin mo mang magpaputok, wala ka na ring mabili (What is good now is that even if you wanted to buy firecracker, there’s nothing available for purchase),” Malaya noted.

“Hindi gaya noong araw, nabibili lang sa tabi-tabi (Unlike before, you could buy them just anywhere),” the official added.

As announced by President Rodrigo Duterte, the DILG leaves it to the local government units (LGU) if they wish to enforce a total ban on firecrackers similar to Baguio City and Davao City.

“Para sa amin, we give the public kung ano gusto nila (Our belief is that we give the public what they want),” Malaya explained.

“Huwag lang silang bibili ng bawal. Kasi ang bawal kukumpiskahin agad iyon ng pulis (Just don’t buy what is illegal. Because those that are illegal will only be confiscated by the police),” he warned. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Fireworks-related injuries prompt renewed calls for ban

Robie de Guzman   •   January 2, 2020

Medical personnel at East Ave Medical Center, Quezon City checks 11-year-old Justin Villafando, who was hit by a firecracker PVI/ Paul Junel aquino

MANILA, Philippines – Some lawmakers have renewed their calls to ban the sale and use of firecrackers in the country in support of the proposal of the Department of Health (DOH) to have zero injuries in the future.

In a statement, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said a firecracker ban will accelerate the decline in New Year celebration-related injuries and air pollution levels.

“Bagama’t naging bahagi na ng ating tradisyon ang pagpapaputok tuwing Bagong Taon, walang saysay ang pagpapanatili sa mga ito kung nalalagay naman sa panganib ang ating mga kababayan, lalo na ang mga kabataan,” Gatchalian said.

The DOH on Wednesday reported at least 164 individuals sustained injuries related to fireworks since December 21, 2019 until the New Year festivities on January 1, 2020.

This figure is lower by 87 cases from the previous year’s record of 251.

Data from the DOH also revealed that the National Capital Region has recorded the most number of cases with 84, followed by CALABARZON with 13 cases.

Most of the victims were male between the ages of one and 71 years old. They sustained blasts and burns, which totaled 71 cases reported. This was followed by eye injuries with 26 cases.

Most of the injuries were due to kwitis, luces, fountain, piccolo, and baby rocket.

The DOH noted that legal firecrackers caused 69 percent of all injuries.

The agency earlier stressed that all firecrackers and fireworks, including the legal ones, can cause injuries. Banning the sale and use of these firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices can help achieve the target of zero casualty.

“Sa pagbubukas ng bagong taon, lagi nating hinihiling ang maayos na kalusugan para sa atin at sa ating mga pamilya pero paglabas ng ating mga bahay ang sumasalubong sa atin madalas ay makapal na usok. Maliban sa mga sugat, ang pangmatagalang epekto ng mga paputok ay ang iba’t ibang malubhang sakit na dulot ng maruming hangin,” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian has filed in July 2019 Senate bill 724 or an act banning the sale, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices, which in effect repeals inconsistent provisions in RA 7183, an act regulating the sale, manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers.

Under the proposed measure, entities who want to have fireworks displays need to secure a special permit from the Philippine National Police Fireworks and Explosives Office (PNP-FEO). Upon presentation of the permit, the LGU will designate an area where the fireworks display will be held.

The bill also requires technically-equipped professionals to handle the fireworks.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III also filed Senate Bill 493 or the Firecrackers Ban Act, seeking to institutionalize President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order no. 28.

The EO, which was issued in 2017, orders the limited use of firecrackers to community fireworks display as well as stricter regulation of all uncontrolled and unregulated firecrackers and similar devices.

Sotto’s bill seeks to prohibit the unsupervised use of firecrackers regardless of the occasion. It also wants to require those who want to use fireworks in designated areas to secure permits from local government units.

The bills on firecracker ban are still pending on committee level.

1st indiscriminate firing recorded this holiday season —NCRPO

Maris Federez   •   December 27, 2019

MANILA, Philippines —The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has warned the public anew against indiscriminate firing.

NCRPO acting director PBGen. Debold Sinas said they will file charges against those caught firing guns indiscriminately.

Sinas added that they will conduct an accounting on police personnel at the camps and stations on December 31, at 7:00 PM to ensure that they will not be involved in illegal firing of guns.

“Para sa mga sibilyan, kung gun user kayo ingat kayo kasi mati trace na natin yan. Medyo high tech na yung ibis system ng crime laboratory. Yung mga kababayan natin pag kayo may alam na nagpaputok ng baril ay ituro nyo para maaresto natin,” Sinas warned.

Last Wednesday (Dec. 25), authorities arrested a Chinese national for indiscriminate firing in Pasay City.

“Umaga 4 o’clock galing sa karaoke tapos nagpaputok nahuli sa Pasay […] Ang nakuha sa kanya ang 25 caliber. Ngayon naka file na ang kaso sa kanya […] Illegal possession plus alarm and scandal,” Sinas added.

Meanwhile, the police have also started confiscating illegal firecrackers being sold in Metro Manila.

Earlier on Friday, more than Php100,000 worth of illegal firecrackers were seized and destroyed at the Kamuning Police Station in Quezon City.

The NCRPO reminded the public of the designated firecracker zones in the barangays. —(from the report of Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

BFP reports decline in firecracker-related fires in the country for 2018

Marje Pelayo   •   December 31, 2018

 

 

FILE PHOTO: Filipino firemen use water hoses to extinguish a fire in a slum area of Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, January 1, 2015. The fire, which razed more than 800 houses made from light materials, leaves thousands of families homeless during the start of the year 2015. According to news reports, the fire started when a firecracker landed in an unattended house, a fire investigator said. | PVI

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) lauds the public’s cooperation for the decline in the number of fire incidents in the country this year.

BFP Spokesperson FSupt. Joanne Vallejo on Monday (December 31) said from 42 fire cases in 2017, the number of fire incidents this year declined to 34.

Also, Vallejo said, the total amount of damages lowered from P21-B pesos in 2017 to only P4-B pesos this year.

The fire official said President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 28 regulating the use and sale of firecrackers has hugely helped in lowering firecracker-related incidence in the country.

In fact, the BFP has recorded 20 firecracker-related fire from January to December 31.

“Naranasan na nila ang value ng pagiging fire conscious,” Vallejo said referring to the public’s increased awareness on fire prevention.

As of December 26, Vallejo said, there is no recorded fire linked to the use of firecrackers.

Nevertheless, the BFP still reminds the public to take extra caution to prevent fire.

“Kami ay nananawagan na bago umalis ng bahay para dumalo sa kasiyahan, tiyakin na naka-unplug ang mga electrical appliances. Naka-switch off ang LPG tank, nakasara ang regulator. Nakasara ang mga bintana. Kapag nasa lugar na ng pagtitipon, tiyaking alam ang mga exits para maiwasan ang tulakan,” she said.

In case of emergency, the BFP encourages the public to report through its nationwide hotline 911. – Marje Pelayo

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