Fireworks makers ask Digong: Spare us
BOCAUE, Bulacan—Leaders of the country’s fireworks manufacturing trade on Friday appealed to presumptive President-elect Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte to drop plans to impose a national ban on pyrotechnic use which he promised once he assumes office.
The chair emeritus of the Philippine Pyrotechnic Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc. (PPMDAI), Celso Cruz, and the president, Marlene Lea Alapide, made the appeal during their annual safety seminar and workshop attended by 3,000 manufacturers and dealers in Central Luzon.
Cruz said the PPMDAI and agencies like the Philippine National Police (PNP) have adopted measures that promote the safe use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic products.
The PPMDAI said it was alarmed by a statement made last year by Duterte during the election campaign in Davao City that he would impose a national ban on pyrotechnic use.
If Duterte fulfills this promise, close to a million industry workers would lose their jobs, the PPMDAI said. In Bulacan province alone, 400,000 people are dependent on the industry, the group said.
The Department of Health has been leading the campaign for a national prohibition on fireworks and pyrotechnic sale because of injuries attributed to fireworks.
But Cruz said, “Our vision is to have a pyrotechnic industry in the Philippines that is economically stable, producing quality fireworks, and with safety as its foremost thrust.”
“We want to eliminate accidents and injuries in the manufacture, storage and transport of fireworks and other pyrotechnic products,” he added. Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Inquirer Central Luzon
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