MANILA – Community fireworks displays would be allowed during the New Year celebration in the country, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Monday.
Año said this is in compliance with Executive Order 28 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017 which strictly regulates the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnics.
“Ang pinapayagan lang natin yung community fireworks display. Meron lang designated na community fireworks display na inilaan ng local government units (LGU) at ito ay may permit sa FEO (Firearms and Explosives Office). Ito lang dapat, dito manonood yung mga tao, of course exercising pa rin social distancing (What we are allowing are only community display fireworks. The LGUs have designated community fireworks display and these have permits from the FEO. These are what the people can only watch, with proper social distancing of course),” Año said in a radio interview.
Año, meanwhile stressed that the use of firecrackers is prohibited in Metro Manila.
“Ano mang paputok dito ay bawal sa Metro Manila (Any kind of firecracker is not allowed in Metro Manila) and that is within the authority of the local chief executives. Otherwise, kailangan sumunod tayo hindi lang para sa kaligtasan hindi maputulan ng kamay o mamatay kung di maiwasan din yung mga (we need to comply not just for our safety, for our hands not to be amputated or to avoid death and of course, to prevent) mass gathering,” he added.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the department has issued Memorandum Circular (MC) 2017-105 supplemented by MC 2017-168 to provide the implementing guidelines for EO No. 28. The Philippine National Police has likewise issued an advisory to remind the public of the implementation of the said order.
He said to reiterate, the sale and use of firecrackers which fall under any of the following are strictly prohibited anywhere in the country:
Overweight – with more than one-third teaspoon or more than 0.2 gram of net explosive ingredients;
Oversized – like atomic big triangulo, super lolo, giant whistle bomb, etc;
With short fuse – should not burn less than three seconds but not more than six seconds;
Imported finished products;
Mixture – sulphur and/or phosphorous mixed with chlorates;
Unlabeled locally made products.
Although some of the following firecrackers may be considered small, the following and similar ones are also strictly prohibited anywhere in the country for causing injuries to the public especially to children, namely:
Giant Whistle Bomb
Large-size Judas Belt
Other similar firecrackers
With regard to pyrotechnics, the Philippine National Police which is the primary agency that implements the said order, has announced in a joint advisory dated Dec. 16, that it will no longer process and issue special permits for community fireworks display in malls and other establishments.
“This is to discourage mass gatherings among the spectators as a measure against the transmission of Covid-19 this holiday season. Nonetheless, according to the PNP, they will respect the permits which were already granted prior to the issuance of the advisory,” Malaya said in a statement.
The sale and use of consumer pyrotechnics or commonly referred to as pailaw may still be allowed.
The PNP cited examples of allowable pailaw:
Jumbo Regular and Special
Other similar types of pailaw
“Please bear in mind, however, that EO No. 28 authorized local government units (LGUs) to promulgate the necessary rules and regulations on firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices within their territorial jurisdiction in conformity with national standards, rules, and regulations. Therefore, as authorized by their respective ordinances and issuances, LGUs may or may not issue special permits for the sale of consumer pyrotechnics or “pailaw” in their respective jurisdictions. LGUs may also prohibit community fireworks display outside of malls and other establishments to prevent crowds as a measure against Covid-19,” Malaya added. (PNA)