MANILA, Philippines – After releasing his own executive order limiting the use of fireworks, President Rodrigo Duterte now wants Congress to pass a law banning them.
Duterte voiced this sentiment during the 21st Cabinet meeting on Monday, January 8, said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.
"The President also indicated he would push for Congress to enact a law that would ban all fireworks and pyrotechnics," he said during a Tuesday Malacañang press conference.
To make up for the loss of livelihood of the roughly 75,000 individuals employed by the fireworks industry, Duterte instructed the Department of Trade and Industry to identify possible alternative livelihood for the affected workers.
Duterte wants the law passed as soon as possible.
"He wants Congress to enact this law at the soonest time possible so the public debate on the banning of fireworks and pyrotechnics could begin as early as possible," he said.
The Department of Health and Department of Environment and Natural Resources had previously expressed support for such a law, citing its expected impact of lower injuries from fireworks and improvement in air quality.
The government reported a 77% decrease in fireworks-related injuries in 2018, compared to the 5-year average.
There were also no reported deaths, no cases of firecracker ingestion, and no stray bullet injuries recorded during the surveillance period from December 21, 2017 to January 5, 2018.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.