BOCAUE, Bulacan: Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado has instructed the Provincial Pyrotechnics Regulatory Board (PPRB) to bring to the grassroot level pertinent information on implementation of Executive Order (EO) 28, which strictly regulates the use of fireworks in the country.
Alvarado, also PPRB chairman, over the said it is important to explain to the people that use of fireworks and other pyrotechnics devices is only regulated, not totally banned.
He added that under the Implementing Rules and Regulation, local government units (LGUs) are required to conduct information campaigns on the danger of fireworks.
Alvarado said the PPRB and the Task Force Paputok headed by Supt. Gerry Andaya of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office is coordinating with municipal, city and barangay (village) officials in informing the public on the proper use of pyrotechnics as well as types of banned of firecrackers, which are dangerous and deadly.
“We also want to make it clear that the use of pyrotechnics and other legal fireworks is not banned under Republic Act 7183 or the Firecracker Law. The government is just strictly regulating their use to ensure public safety,” he added.
The governor also asked local stakeholders to police their ranks as he disclosed that the government’s intention is to help boost the local fireworks industry and make it highly competitive in the global market through safe and quality products.
Alvarado also urged the permanent banning of the deadly chemical ingredients of chlorate and potassium which, he said, are highly unstable when combined in the manufacture of fireworks.
The governor, together with Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando and members of the PPRB and Task Force Paputok, inspected on Saturday rows of firecracker stalls in Barangay Turo in this town, dubbed as the “Fireworks Capital” of the country.
The governor and vice governor took turns in urging dealers not to sell imported and dangerous firecrackers like “piccolo,” the prime cause of injuries during the holiday season.
They also asked dealers not to sell products made by clandestine shops.
Alvarado also urged LGUs in Bulacan not to issue permits to small vendors because selling fireworks should be in stalls that have complied with safety requirements.
“Selling of fireworks along the roads and bridges is prohibited. They will no longer be allowed to avoid incidents,” he said.
Celso Cruz, an engineer and chairman emeritus of the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc. (PPMDAI), said their group has long been calling the attention of law enforcers and other government officials to make a no-nonsense crackdown on smuggled and dangerous types of firecrackers.
“Everybody knows that Picolo is banned. We are not engaged in its production. It is being smuggled into the country and year after year every time it causes harm, our group is always being dragged in the mess. There are many types of safe noisemakers and pyrotechnics that people can choose from,” he added.
Cruz disclosed that the government, for the first time, is helping the PPMDAI and the local industry through the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), which is now training scientists in the pyrotechnics industry by having them study in developed countries and become experts.
“We want to thank DoST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña for making such moves. It is high time that we have our own experts because pyrotechnics is a science and this is what we need to boost the industry to make it safe and globally competitive,” the PPMDAI head, a chemical engineer, said.
Cruz added that under EO 28, the banned types of firecrackers are still the same.
“The law states that the ingredients for firecrackers should not exceed 200 mg. If it exceeds that, it is oversized and banned,” he said.