WITH the New Year celebration just four days away, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reminded local government units (LGUs) and their constituents to avoid using firecrackers, especially 26 types considered to be very hazardous.
Officials of the DILG made the reminder citing several memorandums issued in 2017 and an executive order issued by President Rodrigo Duterte as a way to minimize firecracker-related accidents during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
In a statement, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, who serves as spokesperson for the agency, said the advisory also aims to remind the local police to conduct operations against sellers of illegal firecrackers in their respective jurisdictions.
Malaya said it is illegal to sell or use firecrackers that are considered overweight, oversized, with short fuse, imported, mixture or those mixed with sulphur, phosporous and chlorates; and those that are locally made but unlabelled.
The DILG also prohibuted the selling of small firecrackers that have been cited to cause injuries to the public, particularly children, such as Watusi, Piccolo, Poppop, Five Star, Pla-Pla, Lolo Thunder, Giant Bawang, Giant Whistle Bomb, Atomic Bomb, Atomic Triangle, Large-size Judas Belt, Goodbye Delima, Hello Columbia, Goodbye Napoles, Super Yolanda, Mother Rockets, Kwiton, Super Lolo, Goodbye Bading, Goodbye Philippines, Bin Laden, Coke-in-can, Pillbox, Boga, Kabasi and other similar firecrackers.
Malaya said that while LGUs have been given the authority to issue permits for the selling of firecrackers in their areas, they are advised to conduct regular inspections of firecracker sellers to check if they are selling the allowable types of consumer pyrotechnics.
Consumer pyrotechnics that are allowed for selling include Butterfly, Fountain, Jumbo Regular and Special, Luces, Mabuhay, Roman Candle, Sparklers, Trompillo and Whistle Device.
Aside from LGUs, barangay units and even the local police are urged to implement laws against the selling of illegal firecrackers.
Malaya also advised the public to use alternative noisemakers such as horns, glow sticks and drums which are harmless.
Separately, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes said his city’s ban on the selling and lighting of fire crackers and fireworks displays will continue during the New Year celebration.
Since a week before Christmas, the City has not received reports of anyone selling and lighting firecrackers, Cortes said.
The City also received no reports of anyone who was hurt by firecracker use.
Cortes said he decided to prohibit the selling of firecrackers due to its difficulty in regulation if sellers were allowed to sell them to the public.
He advised his constituents to spend their money to help those affected by recent calamities rather than buy firecrackers.
“If you’re blessed financially, we should not improve our standard of living but we have to improve our standard of giving,” said Cortes.
Separately, officials of the Mandaue City Police Office said they were not able to confiscate any firecrackers during Christmas week.
This compares with last year, when they confiscated 2,000 pieces of picolo, 920 pieces of binggala, and 160 pieces of pop-pop.
Police attributed this to the Mandaue City government’s move to not issue any permits to firecracker sellers this year. (ANV, KFD)