Aquino 'serious' about confiscating illegal fireworks
MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III is "serious" about stopping the manufacture and sale of illegal firecrackers. He called various departments a day before the New Year celebrations to make sure that they are confiscated, according to Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras.
"The issue was really the prohibited ones. We must put a stop to the manufacture, transport and sale of the prohibited ones, especially the big ones," Almendras said.
Officials of the Department of Health, the Philippine National Police, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Bureau of Fire Protection were called to the meeting.
Almendras said these departments will put together suggestions on how to stop illegal firecrackers from entering the market.
There are also instructions for the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), and the Bureau of Customs to track and punish people involved in transporting illegal firecrackers.
"Now, we have instructions for DOJ and even for DOTC on the transport of these things," said Almendras.
The DILG has also taken measures. Almendras said government will wait for the numbers on January 5.
"What we need to do is to make sure it’s gonna be lower in the future years. So we must learn from the experience. The President called this meeting because he wanted to emphasize that he’s quite serious about these things," said Almendras.
Almendras said there are good signs that the campaign is working. Incidents in Quezon City have supposedly gone down because local government was able to stop "sidewalk selling" of the illegal merchandise.
"This is just the first meeting. I’m sure there will be another meeting after January 5 when we see the results, and then there will be further discussion on the future actions and what steps to be taken for it," Almendras added. - Rappler.com
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