HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez urged Local Government Units (LGUs) to implement a total ban on firecrackers during the holiday celebration, especially on New Year’s Eve, to prevent accidents and injuries.
Alvarez made the call as he aired concern that the proposed measure regulating the sale and use of firecrackers will not be approved by Congress before the session break this month.
“Ang mga LGUs dapat sila na yung nag-reregulate noon,” Alvarez said in an interview, making clear his stand for a total ban on firecrackers.
Alvarez stressed that banning the use of firecrackers during the Christmas and New Year celebration will lessen accidents and even expenses on the part of the government.
“It’s high time. Kasi andaming nadi-disgrasya, sabog, may mga namatay, injured. Sa amin sa Davao walang pumuputok doon pagka Pasko, pagka Bagong Taon,” Alvarez said.
For him, regulating the sale and use of firecrackers is not enough. A total ban is more effective in curbing accidents and deaths.
Alvarez said government hospitals can use their budget for other important medical services and not have to spend time and resources on treating victims of firecrackers.
“Para sa akin, total ban, at least mabawas-bawasan din natin yung budget nung ating mga public hospitals. Kasi tingnan ninyo, silipin ninyo yung budget nung public hospitals meron talaga silang budget doon para diyan sa mga nasusugatan,” he added.
The House leader admitted that the passage of the measure to totally ban the use of firecrackers before the Congress break will be impossible this year, however the LGUs can ban the use and sale of pyrotechnic products in their jurisdictions.
To date, a House panel is still deliberating on the firecracker ban measures.
The House Committee on Public Order and Safety started deliberations on House Bills (HB) 589, 1146, 1475, 1892, and 3690, which regulate the manufacture, sale, distribution, and use of firecrackers; and HBs 896 and 1626, banning the manufacture or use of firecrackers.
The proposed bills intend to amend Republic Act 7183, which regulates the sale, manufacture, distribution, and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.