PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order (EO) regulating the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.
Duterte, in EO 28 signed on June 20, said "stricter” rules and regulations on firecrackers or pyrotechnics is necessary to prevent injuries and casualties recorded every year.
“It is a Filipino tradition to use firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices to celebrate events of personal, religious, cultural and national importance,” the President said.
“As there continues to be a substantial number of firecracker-related injuries, even casualties, recorded every year, some involving mere bystanders, the promulgation of stricter national standards, rules and regulations is warranted,” he added.
Under EO 28, Duterte ordered to confine the use of firecrackers to community displays "to minimize the risk of injuries and casualties.”
The EO provided that a display of fireworks could be considered as a community fireworks, if it is conducted "on the occasion or as part of a celebration, competition, or similar event held in a venue other than a place of residence” and “under the supervision of a trained person duly licensed by the PNP (Philippine National Police).”
Fireworks display can also be allowed if the municipality or city concerned issued a permit with specific date and time; and area in which the display will be conducted, in conformity with national standards, rules and regulations.
On the other hand, the EO said that pyrotechnic devices other than firecrackers “may be used outside community fireworks subject to existing laws, rules and regulations.”
Duterte tasked the PNP to coordinate with the Department of Health, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Bureau of Fire Protection for the enforcement of the EO.
He also mandated the PNP to include the conduct of inspections, and the confiscation and destruction of prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.
The implementation of the EO is effective immediately. (SunStar Philippines)