MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Vicente Sotto III wants local governments to regulate firecrackers in their jurisdiction for a “safer” celebration of New Year’s Eve and other occasions.
Sotto filed Senate Bill No. 493 or the Firecrackers Ban Act, seeking to institutionalize Executive Order No. 28 that President Rodrigo Duterte issued on June 27, ordering the stricter regulation of all uncontrolled and unregulated firecrackers and similar devices.
SB 493 prohibits the unsupervised use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices, regardless of the occasion.
The proposed measure would require those who want to use firecrackers in designated areas to seek permission from local government units.
It would also limit the handling of pyrotechnics by “professionals” who have the technical skills to prepare and light the devices.
SB 493 proposes a fine of P10,000 to P50,000 and imprisonment of 6 months to one year, or both, at the discretion of the court.
In filing the bill, Sotto cited the decline in firecracker-related injuries during the 2018 New Year’s Eve revelry.
“Due to the undeniable success in the implementation of EO 28, it is but appropriate to institutionalize it and make it in effect through legislative enactment,” Sotto said.
In 2019, the Department of Health reported a 34% drop in related injuries at 340 cases, lower than the 2018 tally of 463 cases.
The firecracker ban bill is currently pending at the Senate committee level. – Rappler.com