Duterte mulls total fireworks ban in 2021

Published December 8, 2020, 10:53 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte is considering totally banning the use of fireworks in 2021, citing the risks they pose on the health and safety of the people.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte skims through a document as he presides over a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members prior to his talk to the people at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on December 7, 2020. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

In his public address on Monday, the President said he knows that there are people whose livelihood depends on firecrackers and fireworks.

However, he admitted that he is toying with the idea of banning fireworks and firecrackers just like what he did in Davao City.

“I’m also aware that… produkto ng mga tao dito sa Bulacan, iyong fireworks, hanapbuhay nila, pero (people from Bulacan, their livelihood is fireworks) I was really… You know, to tell you the truth, I was toying with the idea of making it just like Davao,” he said.

“Maybe, ganito na lang, tutal nandiyan pa tayo ngayon, may one year pa kayo next December. Baka next December i-bawal ko na ang paputok (let’s just do it this way. Since you’re still there and we still have one year, maybe next December I will ban fireworks),” he added.

According to the President, he is moving to ban fireworks because they are dangerous “for reasons of public safety and health.”

“Public safety, mamatay ka, magkasakit ka. Health is ma-ospital ka, maputol iyong kamay mo (You can die or get sick. You can get hospitalized or amputated),” Duterte said.

“It’s a health problem actually— iyong (the) inhalation ng powder smoke. So, it is a problem of health, public interest, and public safety,” he added.

President Duterte said that it is possible to spend the holidays without fireworks, citing Davao City as an example.

“Sa amin ngayon, maganda man. New Year, Pasko (In our place, the holidays are still okay). We celebrate it with the family, may (there’s) music, gaiety and all. Walang — walang nasusugatan, walang namamatay (No one is getting injured or dying),” he said.

“So, I am putting you on a warning na baka (that maybe) by mid-year, I will issue the necessary document banning totally — totally banning paputok kagaya sa amin (fireworks like in Davao),” he added.

In February last year, President Duterte said he would ban the sale and use of firecrackers and fireworks because they cause injury to people, particularly to children.

The President likewise urged the public to just celebrate the New Year quietly by eating together. He also raised the possibility of gun attacks being perceived as sounds of firecrackers.

In October, 2019, Duterte left it to the discretion of local government units (LGUs) whether or not to implement a ban on firecrackers in their areas pending the passage of a law.

In June, 2017, President Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) No. 28 which provides for the regulation and control of the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.

Under the EO, the use of firecrackers will be confined to community fireworks displays to minimize the risk of injuries and casualties. The community fireworks display is conducted under the supervision of a trained person duly licensed by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

A community fireworks display is also allowed by the municipality or city concerned through a permit specifying the date and time of the display and the specific area where it will be conducted, in conformity with national standards, rules, and regulations.