MANDAUE City continues to ban the selling and lighting of firecrackers this holiday season.
Maj. Zosimo Jabas, chief of operations and management unit of the Mandaue City Police Office, told SunStar Cebu the ban is in line with the executive order President Rodrigo Duterte issued in 2017.
Jabas said they will confiscate firecrackers sold by individuals or establishments.
He also encouraged the public to report anyone lighting firecrackers in a residential or public area.
The City also discourages any fireworks display within its jurisdiction as this may attract a crowd and violate the protocol on social distancing aimed at preventing the spread of the new coronavirus.
So far, Jabas said, they had yet to issue a certificate allowing a company to conduct a fireworks display in the city.
In a separate interview, SFO2 Jan Herediano, chief of the Fire Safety and Enforcement Section of Mandaue City Fire Station, said the selling of pyrotechnics in the city is allowed.
This year, though, he said they are still waiting for guidelines from the National Government before they can issue pyrotechnic shops a certificate to display and sell their products. That is why there has been no need to inspect these establishments for fire safety compliance, he said.
In Cebu City, Mayor Edgardo Labella said they will regulate the sale and use of firecrackers.
However, if the National Government will release a directive banning their sale and use, then he will abide by it, he said.
He said he is waiting for the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to release a memorandum on the matter.
Labella said a total ban on the sale of firecrackers may force vendors to go underground, which will make it harder for authorities to monitor their activities.
“We’d better regulate because if we totally ban them, then this unscrupulous traders will still sell and we cannot regulate them,” the mayor said.
The City Government has designated an area in the South Road Properties (SRP) where firecrackers can be sold.
Labella said the City has already issued permits to six applicants who wish to sell at the SRP. Before that, vendors had to secure clearance from the Philippine National Police.
Barangay officials and tanods in Mambaling will monitor the vendors to make sure they observe minimum health standards.
As for the use of firecrackers, Labella reminded residents that safety is the primary concern. (KFD, JJL)