By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
THE Philippine National Police (PNP) in partnership with Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc. (PPMDAI) gathered almost 500 pyrotechnic and firecrackers’ dealers and retailers in Western Visayas on Sept 7, 2018 at Iloilo Grand Hotel to campaign for fireworks safety.
Chief Supt. Valeriano De Leon, Firearms and Explosive Office chief, emphasized that manufacturers in the region should be mindful of safety in manufacturing, distribution, sale, and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.
“Nanawagan kami sa mamayan ng region na to be aware of the safety, as it is our prime model also hindi natin kaya na makita ang mga kababayan, lalong lalo na sa pagdating ng Christmas season, na merong mag-spend (time) doon sa hospital. Sana itong seminar na ito will be a good venue for everyone to air their clarifications on what is prohibited and what is not,” De Leon said.
De Leon said that the rough competition among fireworks industry stakeholders bring about additional challenges to the effective and efficient enforcement of RA 7183, otherwise known as the Firecrackers Law.
“The risk involved in the industry cannot be discounted hence strict national law is being enforced to regulate it,” he added.
De Leon also reiterated that the dealers and the retailers should be aware of their paramount duty to the community, which is to ensure that the public are safe and free from any fireworks related incidents.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to the various incidents that were cause by negligence, blatant disregard of safety standards and violation of rules and regulations. Sudden loss of lives and livelihood could have been prevented if only extraordinary diligence was observed,” he noted.
According to Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc. (PPMDAI) president Marlene Lea Alapide of Pyro Haven Enterprises, the attendance in the seminar is one of the requirements of the law in order for the manufacturers, distributors, and dealers to acquire their licenses and permits, administered by the PNP.
“Ang fireworks safety seminar ay requirement para sa mga nagtitinda ng paputok, gumagawa at nagdi-deal ng paputok small or large scale para malaman nila ang pamamaraan kung papano i-secure ang mga produkto habang nagtitinda pa lang at mabawasan natin yung mga injuries na kinanatakutan nating mangyari,” said Alapide.
Apart from being a requirement, Alapide emphasized that it is also for the personal awareness in order to ensure safe and efficient use of firecrackers and pyrotechnics.
Republic Act No. 7183 regulates the manufacture, sale, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices consistent with, and in furtherance of, public safety, order and national security, as well as the enhancement of the cultural traditions.
In 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order limiting the use of firecrackers in the country.
The EO mandates that a community fireworks display should be conducted under the supervision of a trained person duly licensed by the Philippine National Police.
Government agencies such as PNP, Bureau of Fire Protection Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, were also mandated to promulgate rules and regulations for the implementation of the EO as well as conduct information campaigns.