BOCAUE, Bulacan – Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Saturday instructed the Provincial Pyrotechnics Regulatory Board (PPRB) to conduct information drive on the use of pyrotechnics devices.
Alvarado, who is the chairman of PPRB, said it is important to explain to the people that the use of fireworks and other pyrotechnics devices is not banned only regulated under Executive Order No. 28. He also said that under the Implementing Rules and Regulation, local government units are required to conduct information campaigns on the danger of fireworks.
He said the PPRB and the Task Force Paputok headed by Supt. Gerry Andaya of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO) is now coordinating with municipal, city and barangay officials in informing the public on the proper use of pyrotechnics as well as types of banned of firecrackers, which are dangerous and deadly.
“Gusto din natin linawin na hindi bawal ang paggamit ng pyrotechnics at mga legal na paputok sa ilalim ng RA 7183 o Firecracker Law. The government is just strictly regulating its use to ensure public safety,” he added.
The governor also asked local stakeholders to police their ranks as he disclosed that the government intention is to help boost the local fireworks industry and make it highly competitive in the global market through safe and quality products.
“Nais din natin ipabatid na ang paghihigpit ay naglalayong maging ligtas ang mga mamamayan at mapaunlad ang local na industriya ng paputok,” Alvarado said.
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.
Alvarado together with Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando and members of PPRB and Task Force Paputok inspected the rows of firecracker stalls in Bgy. 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 killer types of firecrackers like “piccolo” which is 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 has complied with safety requirements.
“Bawal na ang pagtitinda sa mga kalsada at mga mga tulay. Hindi na sila papayagan ngayon para maiwasan ang disgrasya,” he said.
Engr. Celso C. Cruz, chairman emeritus of the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc. (PPMDAI), said that 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 everytime 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,” he said.
He also disclosed that for the first time the government is helping PPMDAI and the local industry through the Department of Science and Technology 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 Pena for making such moves. It is high time that we have our own experts because pyrotechnics is science and this is what we need to boost the industry to make it safe and globally competitive,” Cruz, a chemical engineer, said.
Cruz also said that under EO28 the banned types of firecrackers are still the same.
“The law states that the ingredients for firecrackers should not exceed 200mg. If it exceed it is oversized and banned,” he said.
On the other hand, Joven Ong, owner of Dragon Fireworks and President of the Philippine Fireworks Association, blamed the media for misinforming the public on the provisions of EO28.
He said the media is either editing the reports because it is clear under EO28 that use of pyrotechnics outside residences is not banned.
“Hindi po ipinagbabawal ang mga pailaw kahit na yung mga paputok na pinapayagan sa ilalaim ng RA 7183.Malinaw po ito sa isinasaad ng EO28,” Ong said.
He also said that the Philippines is one of the best producers nof pyrotechnics and it is been proven in many international competitions. —EMIL G. GAMOS