MEMBERS of the Philippine Fireworks Association (PFA) appealed to the Quezon City government to exclude pyrotechnics in its order to ban fireworks during the New Year festivities, claiming that they are safer and more legal alternatives for the holidays.
“Kami ho ay nakikiusap sa mayor ng Quezon City na balikan ang kanilang ordinansa na nagbabawal sa firecrackers at pyrotechnics kasi ang presidente nga natin ay naawa sa industriya at pinayagan ang mga ito,” said President Jovenson Ong.
(We are appealing to the mayor of Quezon City to review its ordinance banning firecrackers and pyrotechnics because even the President, who took pity on the industry, has allowed the use of pyrotechnics.)
Early in November, Mayor Herbert Bautista approved City Ordinance 2618-2017 penalizing any person using fireworks in public spaces without the city’s permission.
“Public spaces” refer to streets, road alleys, thoroughfares, open spaces, plazas, parks, basketball courts and other similar places within the city.
Violators face a P5,000 fine or one-year imprisonment or both, depending on the court’s discretion.
According to PFA, the Philippine fireworks industry provides an estimated 150,000 people with a means of livelihood.
On June 20, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 28, allowing community fireworks displays “to minimize the risk of casualties and injuries.”
“The association wishes to thank President Duterte for his fairness towards our local Philippine-made pyrotechnics and fireworks industry, that’s why Executive Order 28 is clear about allowing pyrotechnics and encourages people to shift from firecrackers to pyrotechnics,” the group said in a statement.
Pyrotechnics (pailaw) other than firecrackers (paputok) may be used outside of the community fireworks displays subject to existing laws, rules and regulations, since their main effects were lights.
Meanwhile, the ordinance assigns the Philippine National Police (PNP) to coordinate with the Department of Health (DoH), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Bureau of Fire Protection Program (BFP) in promulgating rules, regulations, guidelines, on allowable areas for community fireworks displays starting this December. GLEE JALEA