BOCAUE, Bulacan – Governor Daniel Fernando, with the Pyrotechnics Regulatory Board (PRB), led the ocular inspection of some pyrotechnics stalls in Barangay Turo here Wednesday.
The move is to ensure that rules and regulations stated in Executive Order 28 (Providing for the regulation and control of the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices) and Republic Act (RA) 7183 (An act regulating the sale, manufacture, distribution, and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices) are observed by manufacturers, dealers, and retailers of pyrotechnics and firecrackers amid the pandemic.
At the same time, Fernando, along with town mayor Jonjon Santiago and engineer Celso Cruz, chairman emeritus of the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association, Inc. (PPMDAI) appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte not to impose a total ban on the sale and manufacture of fireworks in the country by next year.
“This fireworks industry is a source of livelihood for many families, not only in Bulacan. Many of our countrymen will be affected and will lose their livelihood when the total ban is implemented. So we continue to call on President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to just regulate the law and not (a) total ban, ” Fernando said in an interview.
He expressed hope that the President would listen to them and study the matter carefully because hundreds of thousands of Filipinos would be severely affected if the fireworks industry is stopped.
Senator Joel Villanueva has also expressed his support for the appeal not to impose the nationwide ban on fireworks.
“If there is a regulatory problem, not the total ban is the answer. There has to be a deeper study before we decide on regulating or banning firecrackers,” Villanueva, Senate committee chair on labor, employment, and human resources development, said in an earlier interview.
Meanwhile, Cruz said the sale of fireworks in the market dropped by more than 50 percent due to the pandemic, as well as the public confusion over the implementation of the total ban.
It was learned that since the implementation of RA 7183 and the pandemic this year, more than 200,000 people dependent on fireworks factories have been affected nationwide.
Fernando called on the public to be vigilant and report illegal dealers, even though provincial officials regularly inspect fireworks and firecrackers manufacturers and dealers.
Col. Lawrence Cajipe, director of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, said this year, the province has 21 licensed manufacturers and 88 licensed dealers, compared to 24 manufacturers and 94 dealers last year.
Cajipe said those found to be non-compliant, known as “colorums”, would be arrested.
He also warned the consumers to buy labeled products and only from legitimate fireworks vendors.
Fernando was accompanied by PRB bodies, including officials of the PPMDAI, Philippine Fireworks Association, departments of trade and interior, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, local government units, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, during the inspection. (PNA)