Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon has ordered agency officials and personnel to keep a tight watch on the entry of illegal “finished” firecrackers, fireworks, and other pyrotechnic devices as the country prepares for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Faeldon issued a memorandum reminding Bureau of Customs (BoC) personnel of the prohibition as stated in Republic Act No. 7183 or An Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, Distribution and Use of Firecrackers and Other Pyrotechnic Devices.
Under the law, only the importation of chemicals and explosive ingredients used in the manufacture of firecrackers, fireworks, and other pyrotechnic devices is allowed. But such importation can only be made by a duly licensed manufacturer holding the corresponding authority to import issued by the Philippine National Police-Firearms and Explosives Office (PNP-FEO).
Faeldon directed district collectors in all ports of entry, deputy commissioners, and other concerned officials and personnel of the bureau “to be more circumspect in denying entry and lodgement of finished firecrackers, fireworks, and other pyrotechnic devices in any port of entry in the country, and effect their seizure and forfeiture.”
The BoC was earlier blamed for the proliferation of smuggled firecrackers being circulated and distributed locally.
Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. of Negros Oriental said in a recent hearing that the customs bureau should be held accountable for smuggled firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices ahead of the holiday season.
However, Faeldon said, “During my term, I have not upheld the release of any firecrackers. Give us the details of this, and I am willing to investigate.”
WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL