• Duterte: Revise EO on firecracker ban

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    With the holiday season just around the corner, will the country see fewer firecracker-related injuries under the Duterte administration?

    President Rodrigo Duterte is apparently not keen on imposing a nationwide ban on firecrackers because of its economic implications.

    In a text message, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Duterte ordered his Cabinet to revised the draft Executive Order (EO) that would limit the use of firecrackers or pyrotechnic devices for “possible loss of jobs.”

    “A revised EO on the firecracker ban will be submitted,” according to Andanar, when asked if the President has approved the nationwide ban on firecrackers during a Cabinet meeting in Malacanang on Thursday.

    “The concerned agencies will look into the proposal to regulate pyrotechnics to mitigate the possible loss of jobs and at the same time enable traditional celebration of festivities,” he said.

    Duterte enforced a successful fireworks ban when he was still mayor of Davao City, and has promised to replicate the policy nationwide.

    The President earlier said he will consult members of his Cabinet and let them decide on a possible ban on firecrackers.

    “I am going to have the Cabinet meeting. There will be a loss of business, economic, whatever, social, everything. I need the Cabinet to decide. It will be a Cabinet decision,” Duterte had said.

    The proposed EO, which the Department of Health (DOH) expects Duterte to sign before November, wants a shift from individual household use of firecrackers to a community fireworks display.

    Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial told an earlier news conference that the DOH has been firm on its position that it would limit the use and possession of firecrackers or pyrotechnic devices in the country.

    “The controlled and supervised display and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnics, that is still what we advocate,” Ubial had said.

    “We’re hoping, because it was done in Davao, and I was the regional director during the time we implemented it in Davao, we had zero cases of firecracker injuries in Davao,” he added.

    Davao City has prohibited the manufacture, sale, distribution, possession or use of firecrackers or pyrotechnic devices in the city since 2002.

    Duterte, who was mayor then, signed the city ordinance.

    CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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