City’s laws on pyro still stand-A A +A
Thursday, December 16, 2010
THE Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) and the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) can still conduct raids on firecrackers and pyrotechnics in the City that are sold outside the designated firecracker and pyrotechnic zone, which is the South Road Properties (SRP).
City Attorney Joseph Bernaldez clarified that as long as the ordinance regulating firecrackers/pyrotechnics and a resolution that designates a firecracker/pyrotechnic zone are existing, they can be enforced anytime by authorities.
This, as the owner of Pyroworks Pyrotechnic Perfection, Brian Lim, visited Mayor Michael Rama yesterday and brought up his concerns.
Lim is the owner of the P3 million worth of pyrotechnics seized by the joint operatives of the CCPO and CTO in a mall last week.
The trader earlier sought the City officials’ help, including the mayor, to recover his confiscated pyrotechnics, which are still in police custody.
Rama refused to reveal the detail of Lim’s concerns, but he added that it’s all about pyrotechnic and firecracker affairs.
The mayor clarified that Lim’s interest involves legal issues, which is why he asked the City Attorney’s Office for its opinion.
“I still have to make a final decision that’s why I’m asking the City Attorney’s Office to give a legal opinion because as a mayor, I have the responsibility to balance public interest,” Rama said.
Bernaldez, for his part, said he already instructed his assistant, lawyer Gerone Castillo, to evaluate the resolution, ordinances and the national laws regarding firecrackers and pyrotechnics.
City Council Resolution ’08-1394 specifies SRP as the only area where firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices can be sold.
CCPO and CTO personnel invoked the resolution, which reinforced City Ordinances 82 and 1962 that regulate the sale and display of firecrackers, in confiscating Lim’s goods.
There is a pending resolution, though, in the City Council that would amend the original resolution to allow the selling and display of pyrotechnics in malls, department stores and other places in the City.
Bernaldez said the evaluation will include whether a resolution can amend an ordinance or a resolution can amend another resolution, and if it can be given a retroactive effect.
It was Councilor Augustus Pe Jr., who introduced the amendatory resolution in the City Council upon the instruction of Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) after Lim sought the congressman’s help.
Bernaldez said they may come up with the legal opinion in a couple of days. Meantime, he advises traders to follow the law.
“For those selling firecrackers and pyrotechnics, let’s just follow the ordinance and the resolution that we only sell in SRP while we’re studying the law,” Bernaldez said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 16, 2010.