DILG aiming for no firecracker-related injuries
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday said the decrease of firecracker- related injuries during the last three years show that Filipinos can celebrate the holidays without compromising the tradition especially that the country is facing threats from COVID-19 pandemic.
Interior Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the department is aiming for zero firecracker-related injuries this year.
"It is the tradition of Filipinos to usher in the New Year with fireworks as families indulge in their media noche (New Year’s Eve feast)," Malaya said.
"However, the pandemic and the new normal entails adjustments to ensure everyone is safe at home together,” he added.
Malaya said the zero casualty target is attainable because there were only four firecracker-related incidents from December 31, 2018 to January 1 of this year, a significant drop from previous years.
Based on police data, 307 firecracker-related incidents nationwide were recorded in January 2019 which is 67 percent lower than the 929 recorded incidents in 2016.
In 2018, there were 449 incidents while in 2017, there were 652.
"There has been a steady decline for the past three years and we can sustain that trend if we remain persistent with our efforts to implement laws and regulations on the use of firecrackers such as Republic Act 7183 and Executive Order No. 28," the official said.
Malaya said police are also expected to conduct inspections of the manufacturing complex, warehouse, and processing area of manufacturers and dealers in their respective areas of responsibility to ensure the observance of safety guidelines.
“The PNP is authorized to immediately confiscate illegal firecrackers and make arrests when necessary so the industry is advised to just follow the law,” he said.
According to the Bureau of Fire Protection, any form of firework display will be prohibited and the only exception is community fireworks display in designated areas set by the local government units (LGUs) which will be the only places where fireworks are allowed to be lit.
Among the prohibited fireworks are Piccolo, Watusi, Giant Whistle Bomb, Giant Bawang, Large Judas Belt, Super Lolo, Lolo Thunder, Atomic Bomb, Atomic Bomb Triangulo, Pillbox, Boga, Kwiton, Goodbye Earth, Goodbye Bading, Hello Columbia, and Goodbye Philippines.
The DILG also urges the BFP to be strict in issuing fire safety clearance for fireworks display and fireworks exhibition to ensure that there will be no untoward incidents during such exhibitions.
In 2017, Duterte signed EO No. 28 limiting the use of firecrackers. Ella Dionisio/DMS