Instead of implementing a total firecracker ban, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said he would still allow local government-led fireworks in communities.
In a taped speech, Duterte said he wanted to “compromise” by allowing fireworks displays led by the government to help firecracker manufacturers in Bocaue, Bulacan sustain their livelihood.
“Ngayon, ganito na lang (Now, let’s do it like this), so as not to deprive the Bocaue residents of their livelihood, I will only allow — kung maaabutan pa ako ng Pasko ulit (if I’m still here next Christmas) — I’ll only allow firecrackers and everything to be done by government,” he said.
Duterte said the city mayor and the chief of police should spearhead the government-led fireworks display to ensure that viewers are within safe distances before being allowed to watch.
“It would — behooves on the mayor to see to it that everything or everybody and everything is in place and everybody is safe. Diyan lang ako papayag (that’s the only time I’ll allow it), only government,” he said.
He urged firecracker manufacturers in Bocaue to make sure that their products are only sold to law enforcement authorities and not individuals.
“So kayong mga taga-Bocaue ganito, kung ang local governments para sa New Year and Pasko — ah hindi Pasko, New Year lang, ipagbili na lang ninyo sa lahat ng local government units. Marami ‘yan, kikita kayo kasi bibili lahat (So you Bocaue folk, just sell your firecrackers to local governments. That’s a lot so you’ll still earn money because all of them will buy). But sell it only to the police,” he said.
According to Duterte, local governments could buy as many firecrackers as they wanted to have a “good presentation” as long as it won’t cause harm to anyone.
“I’ll leave it to the mayor and to the chief of police to see to it that I said the presentation for the firecrackers shall be on New Year only and at the — with the supervision of the mayor and the control of the chief of police,” he said.
He also acknowledged that many Filipinos enjoyed watching fireworks displays with their families and friends.
“Everybody would be interested really because that is what the community wants, a boisterous and, you know, ‘yung gusto nang putuk-putukan (firecrackers), I will only allow it when it is done by government. Mag-ano tayo, mag-compromise tayo (Let’s compromise),” he said.
Duterte also urged firecracker manufacturers not to sell their products to private individuals.
“Wala na magpabili sa private ano. Gobyerno na lang at gobyerno lang ang puwedeng magpaputok (Nobody will sell it to private individuals). That is my… Para hindi kayo mawalaan ng hanapbuhay (So you don’t lose your livelihood). You don’t lose the business. And so enjoy also the New Year by ‘yung nakikita mo ‘yung produkto mo pumuputok pero (seeing your products explode) everybody is put on notice that it must be safe,” he said.
Late last year, Duterte said he wanted to implement a total firecracker ban as it was the government’s job to intervene to prevent injuries and death rates from rising.
Executive Order No. 28, issued by Duterte in 2017, has confined the use of firecrackers to community fireworks display areas to minimize the risk of injuries and casualties.
On Monday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported a total of 50 fireworks-related injuries from Dec. 21, 2020 to Jan. 1, 2021 with no cases of firework ingestion and no deaths reporte
Source: Philippines News agency