By Jennifer P. Rendon
Close to 800 traders were issued permits to sell, deal, and manufacture firecrackers in Western Visayas.
The Regional Civil Security Unit (RCSU)-6 said most of the 798 traders are retailers (769) while only 9 are manufacturers and 20 dealers.
“The last batch of permits for approved applicants was signed on Wednesday,” according to Lieutenant Colonel Robert Petate, RCSU-6 regional director.
Most of the 769 retailers are in Negros Occidental with 302 while Iloilo province has 155.
Iloilo City has 82 licensed retailers; Capiz with 74; Bacolod City with 57; Aklan with 56; Antique with 32; and Guimaras with 10.
After two years of lockdowns and restrictions, authorities are preparing for a surge in Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations and, consequently, more fireworks-related injuries.
Petate said they have started to go around the region to inspect compliance of permittees.
So far, they only confiscated around P4,000 worth of firecrackers from a retailer at Barangay Buhang, Jaro, Iloilo City after it was found that his products lacked Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) marking.
Retailers could start selling after they get permits from RCSU-6 and the local government unit.
Former President Rodrigo Duterte signed Memorandum Order No. 31 on Oct. 29, 2018 instructing the PNP and other concerned agencies to strictly implement laws and regulations on the sale, manufacture and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.
Under the order, processing of new licenses and permits will be suspended pending review of existing licensees’ and permittees’ compliance with laws and regulations.
On June 20, 2017, Duterte also signed Executive Order No. 28 “Providing for the Regulation and Control of the Use of Firecrackers and Other Pyrotechnics Devises.”
Meanwhile, Petate reminded sellers and even buyers of the provisions of Republic Act 7183 (An Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture and Use of Firecrackers and Other Pyrotechnic Devices, and the promotion of health and safety and general welfare of the people).
The law identifies the common types of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices that may be manufactured, sold, distributed and used.
For firecrackers, these include:
* Baby rocket;
* Small triangulo;
* Pulling of strings;
* Paper caps;
* El diablo;
* Judah’s belt;
* Sky rocket; and
* Other types equivalent to the foregoing in explosive content.
For pyrotechnic devises, allowed are:
* Jumbo regular and special;
* Roman candle;
* Whistle device;
* All kinds of pyrotechnic devices (pailaw); and
* Other types equivalent to the foregoing devices.