By DIANN IVY CALUCIN
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte issued on Saturday, Dec. 24, Executive Order No. 54, S-2022, that prohibits private households from using firecrackers and holding their own fireworks displays.
"Private households are hereby prohibited from using firecrackers and staging their own fireworks display,” Belmonte said.
“We want to minimize, if not totally eliminate, the number of firecracker-related injuries and casualties,” she added.
The mayor stressed the 47 percent increase in emergencies and injuries related to firecrackers and fireworks this year.
She noted that the issuance of the EO aims to secure public safety as 2023 approaches.
"We also want to protect homes, commercial buildings and other structures against incidental fires and to lessen the harmful effects of hazardous chemicals and pollutants," Belmonte said.
Meanwhile, the city government approved fireworks displays in public places.
In her order, Belmonte noted that permission or authorization from the Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) is required before a particular public venue may be used for the fireworks display.
Only approved firecrackers and pyrotechnics are allowed for use in public places.
Display pyrotechnics or commercial fireworks are pyrotechnic devices used outdoors that are meant to be viewed by audiences from a distance. As such, smoke and fallout from the fireworks become less of a concern.
In accordance with City Ordinance No. SP-2618, S-2017 or the "prohibition of selling firecrackers in public places such as sidewalks, tiangges (bazaars), stores, and similar establishments," the sale of permissible firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices is only allowed in shopping malls with clearance from the DPOS and permit from the Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD).
“Selling, sharing or giving firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices to minors is also not allowed," Belmonte added.
In line with the implementation of the said EO, Belmonte tasked the Barangay and Community Relations Department (BCRD) to immediately disseminate the guidelines to all 142 barangays in the city.
She also ordered barangay officials to report any violation to city police stations and provide the necessary assistance to law enforcement agencies.
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) was mandated to strictly enforce the guidelines and other laws and regulations related to firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.
Under Ordinance No. SP-2618, S-2017, violators will be charged with a P5,000 penalty fee or one-year imprisonment, or both depending on the court's discretion.