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Baguio City vendors to defy absolute ban on firecrackers

Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star) - December 27, 2013 - 4:28pm

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines - Firecracker vendors vow to defy Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan’s ban against all firecrackers and firework by selling underground.

“We have no choice,” said fireworks vendor Jane Gonzales meeting journalists Thursday afternoon after their last dialogue with Domogan to reconsider his absolute ban.

Domogan has refused to give in to Baguio Retailers of Paputok, Lucis (Pailaw), Atbp., Association’s plea for them to sell aerial pyrotechnics, which was allowed for the past years.

At least 20 government-sanctioned firecracker vendors who have been in the business for decades here, lament how the city “closed its heart and eyes.” 

The pyrotechnics association claimed that their wares include only pyrotechnic materials “allowed and regulated by law.”

But the mayor continued to refuse the appeal of even government-sanctioned vendors to sell firecrackers, due to health and environmental issues. He said more city residents become stricken with respiratory problems; while the threat of global warming and the greenhouse effect becomes more eminent with firecracker exhaust during holiday celebrations.  

There is no stopping the multi-million retail business, however. While the city is still about to craft a local ordinance to ban even those using firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices, vendors, even those non-members of the local firecracker vendors association, will grab the opportunity to sell such devices in season. 

Agnes Montoya, head of the Pailaw Association explains that the retail business is good with a 50 percent sure profit.  With seemingly everyone going guerilla, the government will also lose revenue from them.

Yearly, association members, Montoya said, have been paying for business permits and taxes.

But with the debate between the vendors and the city mayor has not reached any resolution,  the season of the pyrotechnics is ending. 

AGNES MONTOYA ATBP BAGUIO CITY MAYOR MAURICIO DOMOGAN BAGUIO RETAILERS OF PAPUTOK DOMOGAN JANE GONZALES LUCIS MONTOYA PAILAW ASSOCIATION
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