By GENALYN D. KABILING
The local firecracker industry will likely be shut down after President Duterte has pushed for a total ban of firecrackers to ensure public safety.
The President has called on Congress to pass a bill prohibiting the use of all firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices in the country, according to his spokesman Harry Roque. The latest presidential decision was reached during a Cabinet meeting in Malacañang last Monday.
“The President also indicated that he will push for Congress to enact a law that will ban all firecrackers and pyrotechnics,” Roque said during a Palace news conference.
“He wants Congress to enact this law as soon as possible so the public debate on banning fireworks and pyrotechnics could begin as early as possible,” he added.
The President, aware of the impact on the firecracker industry, has promised to provide alternative jobs to workers who will be affected by the looming ban.
“He realizes that there will be about 75,000 individuals who are working in this industry. He instructed the Department of Trade and Industry to look for alternative livelihood for the would be displaced workers,” Roque said.
Roque explained the President reached the decision based on his “prognosis that firecrackers and pyrotechnics are minimal to human health and safety.”
He also assured that the government would consult with stakeholders about the proposed firecracker ban.
“That’s why he wants Congress to enact the law, begin hearing on the proposed bill that will ban firecrackers as early as possible to afford stakeholders to be consulted,” he said.
Last year, President Duterte signed Executive Order No. 28 restricting citizens from using firecrackers at their homes. Only community firework displays have been permitted as designated places under police supervision to minimize the risk of injuries and casualties.
The President’s order was implemented for the first time in the recent New Year celebration, resulting to a huge drop in injuries.