The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday directed all local government units and concerned government agencies to take action against the use of illegal firecrackers and indiscriminate firing in light of the New Year celebration.
In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and LGUs should ensure that the public is following rules on firecrackers.
“Inaatasan ko ang PNP na doblehin ang pagmomonitor at pag-iinspeksyon para siguruhing hindi kakalat sa merkado at walang gagamit o madidisgrasya sa iligal na paputok,” he said.
(I ordered the PNP to double their monitoring and inspection efforts to ensure that illegal firecrackers will not reach the market and the public.)
According to Año, the PNP and LGUs have the responsibility to enforce national and local policies on firecrackers to prevent injuries and fire incidents.
He also ordered the PNP to arrest those who would violate the regulations on firecrackers. A fine of P20,000 to P30,000, six months to one year of jail time, cancellation of license and business permit, and confiscation of inventory stocks will be imposed against violators.
Interviewed on GMA News’ Unang Balita, BSP spokesperson Fire Superintendent Annalee Carbajal-Atienza said they are conducting campaigns against the use of illegal firecrackers.
“Ang ating pong mga firetrucks, ating kabomberuhan ay nag-iikot sa mga barangay and doing rekorida, pag-aanunsiyo at pagpapaalala,” she said.
(Our firetrucks and firemen have been conducting patrols in barangays to make announcements and reminders regarding the use of firecrackers.)
She advised the public to just watch the fireworks display in designated areas organized by the LGUs.
So far, the BFP spokesperson said there is no fire incident reported due to firecrackers.
Meanwhile, Año also warned against the use of firearms to welcome the new year.
"The DILG will not tolerate the use of firearms in welcoming the new year. We will apply the full force of the law against those that will fire their firearms during the new year. Let’s welcome the new year with clean hands and clean hearts,” he said.
He assured the public that authorities will deal with indiscriminate shooting incident appropriately. —KBK, GMA News