CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued on Friday, Dec. 24, 2021 an order prohibiting the use of firecrackers, fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices within the province effective immediately.

In her Executive Order (EO) 51, Garcia said it has become a practice among Cebuanos to use firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices during Christmas and New Year, but with the present situation—no water and electricity, there is a need to prohibit the use of pyrotechnic devices “in order to prevent unnecessary fires.”

Garcia has placed Cebu under state of calamity since Dec. 17 through EO 48 due to the devastation brought about by Typhoon Odette, the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year.

Odette made landfall in Carcar City, Cebu last Dec. 16. It toppled hundreds of trees and plants, as well as electric posts, leaving almost all areas in Cebu province without power and water. Thousands of families have also been left homeless.

Garcia said Section 465 of the Local Government Code empowers her to issue such a directive “as may be necessary during and in the aftermath of a manmade and natural disaster or calamity.”

She said the order will remain in effect until the lifting of the province’s state of calamity status.

She directed the Philippine National Police and other enforcement agencies to strictly implement the firecracker ban.

Earlier, Talisay City and Mandaue City had also issued the same directive prohibiting the use of firecrackers this holiday season.