MANILA – Malacañang believes that one year is enough time for firecracker manufacturers to prepare for the next year’s ban on fireworks and look for new jobs.
Presidential Spokesperson Roque made this remark after President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated his desire to have firecrackers banned next year, noting that public health and safety must be prioritized.
In a Palace press briefing, Roque said the President understands their plight, which is why he is giving them a one-year ultimatum to get ready by looking for new sources of income.
“Pinagbigyan naman po nga nga itong manggagawang ito ng isa pang taon. Sa loob ng isang taon na ito, inaasahan natin na hahanap na po ang mga apektadong manggagawa ng alternatibong hanapbuhay (He is giving these workers one more year. In a span of one year, we expect affected workers to have looked for alternative livelihoods),” Roque said.
Roque said Duterte was bent on a total ban on firecrackers since his hometown, Davao City, has a standing ordinance on the total ban of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.
“Inihalintulad po ni Presidente yung ginawa niya sa Davao na absolute ban talaga sa firecrackers. So ‘yan po ang nasa isip ng Presidente (The President wants something in comparison to an absolute ban on firecrackers in Davao. So that’s what’s on the President’s mind),” he said.
Roque said Metro Manila mayors as well as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) have also agreed to Duterte’s plan to ban fireworks completely.
He said the DILG will instead promote centralized fireworks displays to cut down on death and injuries to people setting off firecrackers.
In a taped speech late Monday night, Duterte said he sympathizes with firecracker manufacturers, but noted that it is the government’s duty to protect people’s health and safety.
“I really understand you. I might even sympathize with you. Loss of earnings and you are driven out of business. But the problem is the higher duty of government to protect public interest, public health,” he said.
Duterte said it is the government’s job to intervene to prevent injuries and death rates from rising.
“With every product that is sold to the public, the government must have an intervention or to interdict something which is really not good. Mahirap ‘yang mga maputol ‘yang paa (It’s going to be tough to lose your limb),” he said.
He also ordered the DILG to control the sale and use of explosives in mining operations to prevent them from being used by communist rebels in attacks against government forces.
“It must be cleared by the police and supervised strictly. And then when you go to the area, go to the commanding officer of the military there and let him know that you have bought these explosives para may ma — ‘pag ginamit na ninyo ‘yan, mabantayan (so that when you use them, they can be monitored),” he added.
Duterte said the sale and use of explosives must be controlled because they cause serious injury or death to police and military.
“Itong pabili ng (The purchase of) explosives, dynamites, must be controlled, talagang higpitan ni (retired) General, (Interior Secretary Eduardo) Año (will be strict) and the commanding officer of the area nasa (in the) military must be informed so that he will also have a — he would know how to check,” he added. (PNA)