THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) 7 has cleared more than 300 firms engaged in the manufacture and sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnics after these complied with labor and occupational safety standards.

However, Dole 7 Director Exequiel Sarcauga said he was informed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) that the manufacture of pyrotechnics and firecrackers was only allowed until last Dec. 15.

He had no idea, as of press time, whether there is a deadline on the sale of pyrotechnics and firecrackers by authorized sellers.

Sarcauga said Dole has no power to issue a permit to manufacture and sell pyrotechnics and firecrackers.

He said the license or permit to manufacture, sell and distribute pyrotechnics and firecrackers is issued by the PNP, the fire safety inspection certificate by the BFP and the business permit by the local government unit.

“Our power is only to limited to labor standards and occupational safety standards,” Sarcauga said.

He said Dole’s Occupational Safety and Health Center conducts safety awareness training and issues a certificate of attendance to workers as a requirement under the law.

Sarcauga agreed with the Department of Health’s observation that the volume of pyrotechnics and firecrackers used last Christmas Day and New Year was low compared to past years.

Causes

He said there are several factors for this, such as delay in the manufacture of pyrotechnics and firecrackers because of the work stoppage order issued by labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, delay in the display of the products, the showing of firecracker victims on TV that discouraged the public from buying and the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to strictly implement the ban on its manufacture and sale in the entire country.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said firecracker vendors in Barangay Babag earned less this year due to the Dole order to shut down firecracker and pyrotechnics factories nationwide.

She encouraged them to enroll in the City’s livelihood training program in case they lose their main source of livelihood.

Bello issued the work stoppage order to all firms engaged in the manufacture and sale of pyrotechnics and firecrackers in the entire country last Nov. 24.

The order came after a series of explosions in pyrotechnics and firecrackers manufacturing firms in Bulacan that killed five persons and badly injured 30 other people.