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MANILA, Philippines – Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial on Wednesday, June 21, said the government hopes to see fewer firecracker-related injuries this year after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) No. 28, which limits the use of firecrackers only to community fireworks displays.
“We’re very happy and positive that the President signed the executive order on regulated use of firecrackers, kasi nga I think that is one of the things na kinahihiya rin natin ang Pilipinas ano: maraming nagkakaroon ng unnecessary and baseless injuries because of firecrackers every year,” Ubial told reporters on Wednesday after a public forum in Quezon City.
(We’re very happy and positive that the President signed the executive order on regulated use of firecrackers, because I think that is one of the things we’re ashamed of: we have a lot of unnecessary and baseless injuries because of firecrackers every year.)
She added: “An average of 1,000 persons usually have firecracker injuries, and this caused the health system over P10 million to treat, and not to mention the disability and lives affected because of these injuries. And although this year bumaba na po siya, gusto pa rin po natin pababain pa (the number has gone down, we want fewer firecracker injuries) by passing this executive order to regulate the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnics.”
It was Ubial’s first time hearing about the news that the President already signed on Tuesday, June 20, the EO her department started drafting as early as October 2016.
According to the EO, a display of fireworks qualifies as a community fireworks display if it meets all of the following conditions:
- It is conducted on the occasion or as part of a celebration, competition or similar event held in a venue other than a place of residence.
- It is conducted under the supervision of a trained person duly licensed by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
- It is allowed by the municipality or city concerned through a permit specifying the date and time of the fireworks display and the specific area in which the display will be conducted, in conformity with national standards, rules and regulations.
The PNP has been put in charge of implementing EO 28, in coordination with the Department of Health, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Bureau of Fire Protection.
“Usually it will come out within 30-60 days,” Ubial said of the EO’s implementing rules and regulations. (READ: Ubial: EO on firecracker ban will help deter indiscriminate firing)
She added: “Kasi prepared naman kami and we were hoping for it to come out so na-konsulta na rin namin ‘yung mga key sectors, magkakaroon na lang ng one last round of vetting among the stakeholders.”
(Because we’re prepared and we were hoping for it to come out so we’ve consulted already with key sectors, but we need to conduct one last round of vetting among the stakeholders.)
Duterte implemented an ordinance similar to the EO while he was Davao City mayor. – Rappler.com