DILG to PNP, BFP: Enforce stricter measures on use of firecrackers this holiday season

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With barely three weeks to go before Christmas, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to enforce stricter measures on the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices to achieve an incident-free and safe yuletide.

DILG Officer-in-Charge Catalino S. Cuy says that the PNP should once again conduct inspections, confiscate and destroy prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices in accordance with Republic Act (RA) 7183 and Executive Order 28.

He also directed the BFP to provide support to the PNP in the stricter implementation of said EO especially this Christmas season when there will be expected surge on the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

“While firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices have been part of the Christmas celebrations, it is very vital to enforce stricter rules and regulations on these matters so that there will be lesser if not totally zero firecracker-related injuries and casualties this year,” says Cuy.

According to Executive Order (EO) No. 28,  the use of firecrackers in the country shall be regulated and controlled while the use of firecrackers  shall be limited to  “community fireworks display.”

Said community fireworks display is “conducted under the supervision of a trained person duly licensed by the Philippine National Police.”

Relative to this, Cuy reminded the LGUs to issue permits for the conduct of community fireworks display specifying the date and time of fireworks display and the specific area in which the display will be conducted, in conformity with national standards, rules and regulations.”

Info drive
The DILG OIC also instructs the PNP to renew its massive information, education and communication (IEC) drive on the dangers of using prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

He also tasks the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), local government units (LGUs) and DILG field offices to provide support to the PNP in promulgating the rules and regulations in the implementation of EO No. 28.

Said offices are likewise directed to also conduct similar IEC campaigns in their respective areas of responsibilities.

A total of 350 fireworks-related incidents were recorded on the New Year’s eve of January 1, 2017. The DILG hopes that with stricter enforcement of EO No. 28, this number will significantly drop this Christmas.

According to RA 7183,  only the following types of firecrackers can be manufactured, sold, distributed and used: baby rocket, bawang, small triangle, pulling of strings, paper caps, el diablo, watusi, Judah’s belt, and sky rocket (kwitis). Meanwhile, the following pyrotechnic devices are allowed: sparklers, luces, jumbo regular and special, mabuhay, Roman candle, trompillo, airwolf, whistle device, butterfly, and pailaw.

All other types of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices with explosive contents that can endanger the life and limb are prohibited. Among the banned firecrackers are piccolo, pop pop, Goodbye Philippines or Crying Bading, Yolanda or Goodbye Napoles, Watusi, Pla-pla, Giant Kuwitis, Watusi or “dancing firecrackers,” Super Lolo, Atomic Big Trianggulo, Mother Rockets, Lolo Thunder, Pillbox, Boga, Big Judah’s Belt, Big Bawang, Kwiton, Bin Laden, Kabasi, Atomic Bomb, Five Star, Og, Giant Whistle Bomb, and all other oversized firecrackers with more than 1/3 teaspoon of explosive content.

Oplan Paalala
In line with this, the BFP launched “Oplan Paalala” at the Quirino Grandstand in Roxas Boulevard, Manila with firefighting competitions such as blitz attack, fire ground rescue, and busted hose replacements played by fire volunteers and government firefighters from the National Capital Region (NCR).

BFP Director Leonard Bañago says the bureau initiated various campaign plans to mitigate, if not totally eliminate, fire incidents and accidents caused by firecrackers and the like. He urged the public to avoid the use of pyrotechnics and firecrackers.

Further, firefighters and employees are set to troop to different areas such as malls and supermarket nationwide to distribute fire prevention campaign leaflets, brochures, poster-calendars to encourage them to actively participate in the safety and fire prevention program of the government.

He also ensures the visibility of fire trucks and firefighters to identified fire-prone areas to ensure the immediate response to fires.