IN a move to prevent recurring firecracker-related deaths and injuries each time the country celebrates Christmas and New Year, police will strictly enforce President Duterte’s latest directive to suspend the processing of new licenses and permits for the manufacture, sale and distribution of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices as the yuletide season draws near, Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said.
In his Memorandum Order 31 signed last October 29, the President issued the suspension order pending review of existing licensees’ and permittees’ compliance with laws, rules and regulations.
“Along this line, I have directed the Directorate for Operations to initiate consultations with partner agencies and other stakeholders to comply with the latest memorandum of the President to “strictly implement” existing laws, rules and regulations on firecrackers and pyrotechnic device,” the PNP chief said.
Gen. Albayalde said the directive is particularly aimed at stopping the presence of clandestine firecracker and pyrotechnics factories in Bulacan and other parts of the country which have been the site of past deadly accidents.
“This also means that we won’t be issuing new permits for manufacturers and will look into the compliance of those with existing permits and licenses before deciding if they can continue their business or be stripped of their licenses,” the PNP chief said.
Memorandum Order No. 31 mandates the PNP, in coordination with other concerned agencies and the local governments, to conduct inspections to ensure that manufacturers, distributors, retailers and users of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices are in compliance with the government’s safety guidelines.
Licenses and permits of those found in violation of existing laws, rules and regulations will be “cancelled or revoked,” the President said.
“Per that memorandum we will also suspend the processing of new licenses and permits for the manufacture, sale, and distribution of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices pending review of existing licensees’ and permittees’ compliance with existing laws, rules and regulations,” Gen. Albayalde said.
As directed by the President, the suspension will remain in effect until declared lifted by the Office of the President upon recommendation of the PNP chief and his submission of a report on the review undertaken on existing licenses and permits. “All other departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the government, including government-owned and -controlled corporations are directed to provide the support and assistance required in the implementation of this order.”
In his memorandum, Pres. Duterte likewise ordered the PNP to confiscate and destroy prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices as well as firecrackers used outside community fireworks displays in violation of Executive Order 28.
Issued in June last year, EO 28 regulates the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices, limiting it only to a community fireworks display to minimize the risk of injuries and casualties.
The President also directed the cancellation, revocation and confiscation of the inventory or stock of those found in violation of existing laws, rules and regulations. He also called for the strict enforcement of the prohibition on the sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices to anyone below 18 years old.
The former Davao City mayor also ordered the PNP and concerned government entities to strictly implement the ban on importation of finished firecrackers and fireworks.