By Ralph Villanueva /Manila Times
President Rodrigo Duterte has said he would be issuing a measure banning firecrackers altogether to lessen injuries and death.
“I will issue the Executive Order (EO) this early to warn everyone that I am banning firecrackers altogether. It will be no more,” Duterte said in a speech in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. Bulacan is considered the hub of firecracker manufacturing in the country.
“I will let the Justice department review it thoroughly, but I will ban firecrackers. No more. I cannot… Why will I allow that 700 are dead and… there is one child that will have no hand (because of the firecrackers)?” he added.
The Department of Health recorded a total of 340 firecracker related injuries during the celebration of the New Year.
The figure is 60% lower than the five-year average, following the signing of EO 28 by President Duterte in June 2017, which confines the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnics to community fireworks display.
The president said he would implement the measure as he did in his home city, Davao, where he served decades as a local official.
“So, as a president, why would I allow it? As a mayor, I have said, you know you must be crazy to… Let us close this. That’s a last chapter of firecrackers,” the Chief Executive said.
In October last year, Duterte also ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to tighten up the laws on the sale, manufacturing and distribution of fireworks and pyrotechnic devices in the country. Duterte ordered the PNP to strictly enforce Republic Act 7183, which contains lists of allowable firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices, as well as the regulation and control of the manufacturing, sale, distribution and use of these, in pursuance with the public safety, order and national security.
“The said law authorises the PNP to process applications for the issuance of licenses or permits of any person desiring to manufacture, sell or distribute allowable firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices,” the order read.
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