Robredo orders inspection of ‘cracker factories
MANILA, Philippines—Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo on Friday ordered the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine National Police to inspect the plants of pyrotechnics makers and shops selling firecrackers, particularly in Bulacan, to ensure safety standards were being met.
He directed BFP chief Samuel Perez and the head of the PNP’s Firearms and Explosives Division, Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles, to coordinate with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Health in conducting inspections.
“In the advent of the holiday season, particularly during the Christmas and New Year’s eve celebrations, we expect different types of fireworks and firecrackers to flood the market. We need to regulate and check the efficacy and safety all these products to reduce firecracker-related injuries,” Robredo said.
The BFP, Robredo said in a statement, should inspect all firecracker stores and plants in the country and ensure that all of them comply with fire safety regulations to avoid accidental fires and explosions.
The PNP Firearms and Explosives Division, which has control over the ingredients being used in the manufacture of firecrackers, shall strictly enforce Republic Act 7183, the law regulating the manufacture and sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnics, to ensure that all banned products such as “atomic big triangulo,” “baby dynamite,” “super lolo,” and “kwiton,” do not reach the market, he said.
“The BFP and PNP FED should take an aggressive stance in enforcing their mandates and must closely coordinate with the firecrackers and pyrotechnics manufacturers and distributors to prevent fires and explosions in their plants and stores, and most importantly, reduce firecracker-related deaths and injuries,” Robredo said.
He stressed the need for closer coordination among the DILG, the PNP, the DTI, the DOH and other agencies to properly classify firecrackers and pyrotechnics to determine which are authorized for sale to the public and which are not.
“This is because every year, we get to learn and hear new and more powerful firecracker products being sold in the market. We should ensure they are banned in the market. Most of the time, these banned products are the main causes of death and injuries during Christmas and New Year’s eve celebrations,” he said.
To protect the local firecrackers industry, Robredo also instructed the PNP-FED to coordinate with the Bureau of Customs to prevent the influx and sale of illegally imported or smuggled firecracker products from China and other countries.
“The PNP FED and the BoC should also make an aggressive campaign against smuggled firecracker and pyrotechnic products by going after unscrupulous traders and distributors of the unregulated products,” he said.
The DILG chief urged all local executives – from governors down to barangay officials – to actively participate in the government’s anti-firecracker campaign to reduce firecracker-related deaths and injuries in their areas.
“They can come up with local ordinances assigning designated areas for people to light up firecrackers and implement safety measures thereat,” he said.
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