In Bohol: Fireworks ban futile; other LGUs allow sale
Ric V. Obedencio (The Freeman) - December 31, 2017 - 12:00am

TAGBILARAN CITY, Philippines — The ban or regulation of the sale and use of pyrotechnics or firecrackers of different forms and sizes appeared to be useless.

Unregulated manufacture, distribution, sale and use of firecracker are rising during the holiday season—“a serious concern of everybody for it can cause damage or worse take life away,” says a former government official.

While the Tagbilaran City government has totally banned the sale of firecrackers, other towns—such as the neighboring towns of Baclayon and Jagna—allow it.

Baclayon and Jagna has permitted firecrackers selling, mostly by Muslim traders, reports reaching The Freeman said. In Baclayon, displays of for-sale firecrackers are located along the national highway of Barangay Sta. Cruz, bordering the city and the town.

Thus anybody who want to buy firecrackers for the New Year’s celebration, today until tomorrow, just have to go to Baclayon. In Tagbilaran, firecracker retailers have been engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with the city policemen, in areas where they can sell the regulated or prohibited items.

Recently, the Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) directed all police chiefs in the towns and the city to designate areas for stalls allowing the display and sale of firecrackers or pyrotechnics to ensure public safety.

BPPO Director Senior Superintendent Felipe Natividad issued the directive to all 48 police chiefs during a command conference held recently. The issuance of directive is in consonance with the Executive Order No. 28, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on June 20, 2017, regulating the sale and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnics devices nationwide.

The EO 28 mandates: The “use of firecrackers shall henceforth be confined to community fireworks display, and that the police “should coordinate with the Department of Health, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Bureau of Fire Protection for the implementation of the EO.”

The DOH reported that piccolo, a banned firecracker, has been the leading cause of firecracker-related injuries, accounting for 38 percent of the cases; kwitis came in next with 20 percent of the injuries.

The DOH and other government agencies concerned called on everyone, especially children, to avoid the use of firecrackers but use ‘tarotot” instead in welcoming or celebrating New Year 2018.

But there are still kids who use what they described as “latang canyon” to make an explosive. The Freeman met and talked to some children in Balilihan town playing with these kinds of “toys” using denatured alcohol. (FREEMAN)

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