Too late to outlaw

Digong: nationwide ban on firecrackers maybe in 2017
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said it is too late to implement a nationwide ban on firecrackers and fireworks, following the footsteps of his hometown Davao City.

Speaking to reporters at the Wireless Catholic Cemetery in Davao, Mr. Duterte said the national government has until April by next year to iron out the details of the ban.

“Kasi (Because) they all have invested… it would not be fair,” Mr. Duterte said.

According to the President, the least that the government can do is to increase the information education campaign on the ills of firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

“We use to hit something like… almost in the previous years – 600 serious cases of children going blind, losing a limb – a finger, a hand,” Mr. Duterte said, adding it is very frightening.

In his term as the city mayor of Davao, Duterte banned all forms of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices in 2001.

Davao nurses, doctors and other hospital staff can afford to organize Christmas parties during the holidays even during the Christmas and New Year days as there are rarely casualties of fireworks and firecracker explosions in the city.

“Not even a single case in the hospital,” the President said.

Mr. Duterte said he was aware that some governments in other places organize fireworks displays.

“But maybe at this early I would say I am inclined to—may panahon na… I did not do it last year, simply because it was too late. Nabili na nila iyong mga materials, bayad na iyong iba. At this time, I’d like to put on notice everybody that I have seriously considering of… making the entire Philippines like Davao. We observe the Christmas time with the solemnity and… that befits [everyone’s religion].”

According to the President, Congress should first pass a law. However, he would see if he could implement the measure through an executive order.

“Tutal naman ang ano diyan is the power of the President to come up with measures to protect public property, public interest, public safety. You know, injuries hindi lang of public safety. If you lose your eye or if your hand is cut, or if it explodes in front of you, you suffer burns,that is a very serious health issue. Ang babayaran mo sa doctor, pati ospital. Just to get back your sight, or have your hands, fingers amputated. So it becomes a public issue, public safety.”

Violators of the Davao City ordinance face fines ranging from P1,000 to P5,000.

Businesses caught violating the ordinance also face permit cancellations.