By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) revealed on Monday that it will not issue permits to new manufacturers of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices in response to President Duterte’s order to strictly regulate the use, manufacture, and sale of such ahead of the New Year’s celebration.
Under Section 4 of Republic Act Number 7183 or an act regulating the sale, manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices, “any person desiring to manufacture, sell or distribute fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices shall file his application for the issuance of license or business permit with the Chief of PNP.”
Last week, Duterte issued Memorandum Order No. 31 which ordered the PNP and other concerned agencies to strictly implement laws related to the use, manufacture, and sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices. He also directed the PNP to revoke licenses and permits of those found violating the existing laws.
“Una, wala nang bagong permit (First, there are no more new permits). We will not be issuing new permits for manufacturers. Isa ‘yun (That’s one),” said PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde when asked about the measures that they are going to take in response to Duterte’s directive.
“Yung mga existing, medyo titingnan natin ‘yung kanilang compliance to the existing rules, policies, regulations on the manufacture and sale of firecrackers (As to the existing [laws], we will look into their [manufacturers] compliance to the existing rules, policies, regulations on the manufacture and sale of firecrackers),” he added.
Albayalde also said he is open to the possibility that a total ban on firecrackers will be implemented nationwide in order to register a zero-casualty record on New Year’s celebration.
“Personally, the way I see it, most probably papunta tayo doon. That’s just my personal outlook dito na probably ito ang magiging ano dyan or probably malilimit yung ating manufacturers (Personally, the way I see it, we are inclined to go there. That’s just my personal outlook here, that probably, this will be the [scenario] or probably our manufacturers will be limited),” he shared.
Only manufacturers who complied to the requirements provided through the RA 7183 shall be allowed to sell firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices, according to the PNP Chief, as he said they are set to make inspection across the country and confiscate items from unregistered cracker-sellers.
“As of this time, meron pa ring mga kung sino-sino gumagawa ng firecrackers at their own backyards lang kaya that causes injuries, fires and even deaths. ‘Yun ang iniiwasan ng gobyerno natin (As of this time, there are still persons manufacturing firecrackers at their own backyards so that causes injuries, fires and even deaths. That’s what the government is trying to avoid),” Albayalde explained.
Casualties, injuries, and accidents, such as fire, caused by use of prohibited firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices have long been a problem for the government every New Year’s revelry.
According to authorities, “picolo” is the primary cause of firecracker-related injuries in the country, followed by “kwitis.”