PNP strengthens monitoring, operations against illegal online selling of fireworks, firecrackers

PNP strengthens monitoring, operations against illegal online selling of fireworks, firecrackers
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THE Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cyber Crime Group (ACG) has strengthened its operations against the illegal selling of fireworks and firecrackers online.

In an interview with reporters in Camp Crame on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, Colonel Jay Guillermo, chief of the ACG’s cyber response unit, said the online selling of any kinds of fireworks and firecrackers, including those that are considered legal, is prohibited.

“Bakit ba nagiging illegal ang pagbebenta ng paputok, yun ang laging tanong. Kasi ito ay mga walang lisensya. So, ibig sabhin, hindi sila binigyan ng PNP ng lisensya para magbenta dahil PNP ay hindi nila pagbibigyan ‘yung mga tao na magbenta sa online because of safety issues. Kasi pagka magbebenta ka ng paputok physical, may permit ka sa BFP (Bureau of Fire Protection), PNP, sa local dahil ang tinitingnan natin ‘yung protection ng mga tao na bibili nito at saka ‘yung mga nagbebenta kaya bawal talaga ang magbenta ng paputok sa online,” he said.

(Why is the selling of firecrackers illegal? That's always the question. It's because they lack a license. So, it means they weren't granted a license by the PNP to sell because it doesn't allow people to sell online due to safety issues. When you sell physical firecrackers, you need permits from the Bureau of Fire Protection, PNP, and the local authorities because we're concerned about the safety of both buyers and sellers. That's why selling firecrackers online is really prohibited.)

“Puwede itong gamitin ng kriminal na bumili ng napakaraming pulbura kasi kapag pinagsama-sama mo ‘yung pulbura at malaki ay puwede siyang pampasabog. So yun ang isa sa mga nakikita ng security sector especially ng PNP na bawal ito, kailangan natin irregulate para mamonitor natin kung sinu-sino ang mga kumukuha ng mga paputok,” he added.

(This can be used by criminals who purchase a large amount of gunpowder because when you combine a significant quantity, it can be used as an explosive. That's one of the concerns of the security sector, especially the PNP. It is prohibited because there is a need to regulate it to monitor who is obtaining these firecrackers.)

Since December 19, the PNP ACG arrested four individuals over the illegal sale of fireworks and firecrackers online.

The entrapment operations were conducted in Caloocan City, Tondo in Manila, and in Dinalupihan, Bataan.

The arrested individuals will be charged with the violation of Republic Act 7138, also known as "An Act Regulating The Sale, Manufacture, Distribution and Use Of Firecrackers And Other Pyrotechnic Devices." They will also face charges under Executive Order No. 28, which mandates the regulation and control of the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices, along with other related local ordinances.

As of December 26, the PNP recorded a total of 28 Christmas holiday-related incidents, including seven cases of illegal discharge of firearms, nine cases of illegal possession/use/sale of firecrackers, and one fire incident caused by fireworks.

Two were dead due to the said fire incidents while eleven were injured due to the use of firecrackers.

The PNP also confiscated a total of P190,390 worth of illegal firecrackers, which includes piccolo, pop-pop, five star, pla-pla, giant bawang, Judas belt, mother rockets (boga), kwiton, sawa, Roman candle and Kingkong.

It also identified other illegal firecrackers such as Bin Laden, Goodbye Covid, Coke-in-Can, and Special Pla-Pla. (SunStar Philippines)

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