Duterte keen on banning firecrackers due to quality, safety issues

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 22 2020 01:00 AM

Duterte keen on banning firecrackers due to quality, safety issues 1
A "beckoning cat” lucky figurine is placed at a fireworks store in Bocaue Bulacan on December 9, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file photo

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night reiterated his stand against firecrackers, citing issues in quality and safety of the products available in the market.

In his weekly public address, Duterte scolded firecracker manufacturers for not properly putting labels and warnings in their products.

 "Alam mo kung ikaw ang nagmanufacture niyan at mayroong premature ignition, walang mahabol ang mga tao if you come up with products that are really not properly done or overly beyond the normal level of safety for civilians," he said, referring to banned firecrackers like "Super Lolo" and "Goodbye Philippines".

(You just manufacture, but in cases of premature ignition, they do not know who will take responsibility if you come up with products that are really not properly done or overly beyond the normal level of safety for civilians.)

"You do not assume any responsibility at all. Wala akong nakita na may hinabol ang gobyerno at ikinulong dahil sa inferior or wrongly manufactured firecrackers. Unless we can come up with that, wala kaming mahabol sa inyo. Balot lang kayo nang balot. Walang warranty," Duterte added.

(You do not assume any responsibility at all. I haven't seen the government send anyone to jail because of inferior or wrongly manufactured firecrackers. Unless we can come up with that, we cannot go after you. You just wrap your products, but there is no warranty.)

Though admitting that he understands the concerns of firecracker manufacturers, Duterte said he will not allow any product that is harmful to the public.

"I understand you. I may even sympathize with you. Loss of earnings, you are driven out of business. But the problem is the higher duty of the government to protect public interest, public health," he said.

"Why would I allow a product that is a hazard to the health and life, and probably losing your life or limb," Duterte added.

Duterte has said he might implement a total ban on firecrackers, but he has yet to announced it with finality.

Metro Manila mayors, on the other hand, have agreed to prohibit all kinds of firecrackers in the region.

Last January, the Department of Health said firecracker-related injuries were down 35 percent from Dec. 21 to early morning of Jan. 1, 2020, during the same comparable period leading to New Year's Day in 2019.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III claimed that Duterte’s 2017 executive order limiting the use of firecrackers in the country could be credited for the decrease, along with the information campaign of the DOH.

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