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Duterte orders halt to processing of firecracker licenses, permits

President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the suspension of processing of new licenses and permits for the manufacture, sale and distribution of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices as the yuletide season draws near.

Duterte issued the suspension pending review of existing licensees’ and permittees’ compliance with laws, rules and regulations, according to Memorandum Order 31 signed on October 29 but released by Malacañang on Wednesday.

“The suspension herein ordered shall remain in effect until declared lifted by the Office of the President upon recommendation of the PNP (Philippine National Police) Chief and his submission of a report on the review undertaken on existing licenses and permits,” the order stated.

“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, Duterte instructed the PNP, in coordination with other concerned government agencies and local government units, to conduct inspections to ensure that manufacturers, distributors, retailers and users of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices “are in compliance with safety guidelines, reportorial requirements and other requisites laid down under existing laws.”

He also ordered the confiscation and destruction of 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.

The order called for strict enforcement of the prohibition on the sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices to anyone below 18 years old.

Duterte also ordered the PNP and concerned government entities to strictly implement the ban on importation of finished firecrackers and fireworks. —KBK, GMA News