Local execs tolerating backyard fireworks makers, says Gatchalian
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian believes backyard producers selling unlicensed fireworks are being tolerated by local officials and enforcers.
At Tuesday’s hearing of the Senate committee on public order, Gatchalian asked the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) why there have been accidents reported every New Year when there is already a Philippine National Standards that is supposed to ensure the safe use of fireworks.
The committee headed by Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa was tackling several measures on fireworks, including proposals to ban their use.
“The standards are supposed to make the firecrackers safe or the manufacturer of firecrackers safe? Tama po ba?” Gatchalian asked during the hearing, directing his question to Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo.
When Castelo answered yes, the senator asked next: “So if that’s the case, how come we still have a lot of accidents? Because if we have standards to make products safe for our consumers to use, so why then do we have accidents every New Year?”
Castelo pointed to backyard producers of fireworks, selling products even without DTI’s approval. She said these backyard producers are estimated to be around more than 30.
“Well obviously Usec, we all know that it’s being tolerated by the local officials as well as the local enforcement agencies there. Because we all know that if they don’t have any licenses or certifications, they can’t operate, they should be closed down,” Gatchalian said.
Castelo agreed with the senator as she stressed that no firework makers are allowed to sell without DTI’s certification.
“So but there’s tolerance because it’s happening right now e, the backyard industries are being tolerated, the sale and purchase are being tolerated, so there’s tolerance to this activity. So why is there tolerance…?” the senator went on.
To this, Castelo said, “…Yes, I would say this is tolerated and we probably would need to enforce more, we intensify enforcement, Mr. Chair.”
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