Dangerous firecrackers this Christmas Season

>> Thursday, December 8, 2016


Even as the Dept. of Health is against manufacture and sale of firecrackers, this will likely resume this week, the Department of Labor and Employment reported. This, even as Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said he would lift the work stoppage order upon compliance with health and safety regulations as well as labor standards.
Bello was set to issue an order lifting the work stoppage on Dec. 2 even as Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say said 20 teams were deployed to assess and inspect firecracker establishments in Bulacan.Say said the teams were given six days to complete the inspection of 120 establishments.
Firecracker shops and factories in other areas in Luzon and the Visayas are also being inspected.Bello said manufacturers and retailers should submit a certificate of compliance with the regulations on the sale and manufacturing of firecrackers issued by the Philippine National Police and concerned local government units.
He said firecracker establishments are also required to submit a certification from the Bureau of Fire Protection, adding that workers should undergo safety awareness training.
Bello ordered the closure of firecracker establishments earlier in response to recent explosions that left several persons dead.
He said the closure would not result in massive displacement of workers. The firecracker industry employs around only 150,000 workers nationwide, he noted.
Bello said the DOLE would provide livelihood assistance and alternative source of income to affected workers.
This, as a workers’ group Monday warned of possible proliferation of unsafe firecrackers and pyrotechnics this holiday season.
The Associated Labor Union (ALU) said the firms’ closure and the looming firecracker ban might result in the smuggling of imported and unsafe firecrackers.
“Thousands of workers and their families will suffer from the firecracker ban. Unregulated pyrotechnics will be smuggled from other countries,” ALU spokesman Alan Tanjusay said.
Instead of shutting down firecracker companies, Tanjusay said the government should develop the industry.
 “We are urging the government not to shut down the industry. What the industry needs now is help and support from the government for it to develop and flourish,” he said.
Tanjusay said loss of life and damage to property could be prevented with the use of new and safe technologies.
The group estimated that about 400,000 workers could lose their jobs if the government will implement a total firecracker ban.       
In Baguio this early, some enterprising groups are selling pyrotechnics or firecrackers in Baguio making mayor Mauricio Domogan push ban on sale of such except for those used in city-sponsored special occasions in the city. The use of firecrackers should be limited to a specific time and place, with safety measures and crowd control in place, he said.
The mayor is hoping issuance of an executive order from the national government for total ban of firecrackers.  A city council ordinance should also be crafted to make use of firecrackers bought outside the city a criminal offense, the mayor said, adding no individual or property should be endangered during celebrations, noting reports of unknown or non-environmental-friendly substances in some firecrackers.
He also asked firecracker-selling groups to organize themselves, fulfill requirements of the bids and awards committee and join the bidding to qualify as supplier of pyrotechnics. This was his reply to Agnes Montoya’s Paputok atbp group request for them to be a priority bidder-supplier of pyrotechnics.      
The mayors asked help of the public on claims that several groups are illegally selling firecrackers in the public market and around the central business district so their wares could be confiscated and destroyed.  

Despite warning, firecrackers are used to celebrate the yuletide season, specially new year’s eve, despite accidents – and buying frenzy is starting.


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