BAGUIO CITY – The city council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance imposing a ban on the possession, distribution, display, sale and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devises and materials by private persons and entities in the city.
The proposed ordinance authored by six-term Councilor and on-term Vice Mayor Betty Lourdes F. Tabanda was anchored on the snowballing clamor from local residents on the imposition of the total ban on the display, sale and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials as evidenced by the over 14,000 signatures and 48 barangay resolutions as well as an unnumbered Resolution of the Liga ng mga Barangay supporting the imposition of a total ban on firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials in the city.
The ordinance declared as a policy of the city government to keep its air clean, preserve the environment, protect its residence from air pollution, prevent the incidents of destructive fires and related accidents caused by indiscriminate explosion of firecrackers and fireworks and to keep the city litter-free after the revelry.
Among the firecrackers that are proposed to be banned are baby rocket, bawang, small triangulo, pulling of strings, paper cups, el diablo, watusi, Juda’s belt , sky rocket or kwitis, and other types equivalent to the foregoing and explosive content while the pyrotechnics to be banned include sparklers, luces, fountain, jumbo regular and special, Mabuhay, Roman candle, trompillo, airwolf, whistle devise, butterfly, all kinds of pyrotechnic devices and other types pursuant to existing rules and regulations., atomic big triangulo and super lolo and their equivalent, firecrackers which are oversized, imported finished products with mixture of phosphorus or sulphur with that of chlorate and polyvinyn pipe or boga.
Under the ordinance, exempted from the prohibition are government-sponsored exhibitions during major festivities such as Christmas, New Year, City Charter Day and Panagbenga festival subject to guidelines to be issued.
The proposed ordinance also deputized the barangay officials and barangay tanod to apprehend violators within their jurisdiction.
Violators of the provisions of the ordinance shall be penalized pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7183 and that fines collected by the city government shall be properly acknowledged and shall accrue to the general fund of the concerned barangay.
RA 7183 was passed on January 30, 1992 in furtherance of public safety, order and national security, as well as the enhancement of the cultural traditions.
In the city, Ordinance No. 144, series of 1951, and amended by Ordinance No. 53, series of 2009 prohibits the sale and explosion of firecrackers and fireworks within the city limits.
Further, Resolution No. 418, series of 2011 provides for the guidelines on the distribution, sale and use of fireworks and pyrotechnics in the city pursuant to the existing lawful provisions.
The proposed ordinance was referred to the council committee on laws for study and recommendation and for possible consolidation with similar proposed local legislative measures which are pending before the said committee./By Dexter A. See