BULACAN’S Pyrotechnic Regulatory Board (PRB) under Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and local officials inspected the stalls of fireworks manufacturers and retailers in San Rafael and Bocaue towns on Saturday to make sure that they comply with safety measures and labor laws.
The PRB’s first stop was Dragon Fireworks in Barangay Sampaloc in San Rafael town. Owned by joven Ong, it is one of the largest pyrotechnic manufacturers in the Philippines and dealer in Southeast Asia.
Alvarado said Bulacan fully supports the implementation of laws, particularly Executive Order (EO)28 that President Rodrigo Duterte signed, “Providing for the Regulation and Control of the Use of Firecrackers and other Pyrotechnic Devices.” The EO mandates that local government units must designate community fireworks display areas.
During a recent consultation meeting with fireworks’ stakeholders led by Celso Cruz, PRB vice chairman and chairman emeritus of the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association, Inc., the governor reiterated that the manufacture of firecrackers is not totally banned but its use is regulated.
The executive order (EO) and work stoppage order the Department of Labor and Employment imposed on the fireworks industry after the fatal Bocaue explosion late last year caused anxiety among the manufacturers and dealers of firecrackers.
The Manila Times learned that the sales of fireworks retailers in Bocaue decreased by 35 percent this year because of misunderstanding in the implementation of the EO, said Senior Fire Officer1 Armando Iciong, Bocaue–BFP chief of operations.
There has been no reported incident of explosion in Bulacan and the local government and the PNP are trying to maintain the zero-firecracker accident until December 31.
The last major firecracker explosion occurred in September 2016 when four persons died at Gina Fireworks stall in Barangay Binang, Bocaue.