Firecracker ban, limits in Iloilo, Davao

Subscribe Now December 27, 2011 at 03:08pm

THE Iloilo City government has designated areas for the sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials to prevent accidental fires, while Davao City has reiterated the ban on firecrackers. Iloilo City Mayor Patrick Mabilog has issued Executive Order No. 73 designating the areas, mostly in public plazas in the districts of Molo, Mandurriao, Jaro, La Paz and in Plaza Libertad, where the sale of materials would be allowed, said a statement by the city information office.

In Villa Arevalo District, the center of the city’s firecracker and pyrotechnics manufacturing, sale of firecrackers has been limited to Quezon, JV Jocson, Osmeña, Bonifacio and Yulo streets.

“We want to ensure the safety of the public, so we have designated these areas to guarantee that no untoward incident will happen during the holiday season,” Mabilog said in the statement.

The city government has restricted the sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials from Dec. 20 to 31. Vendors were also required to put plastic covers for their products and to provide water and sand to put out accidental fires.

Fires had broken out in previous years in firecracker stalls causing injuries and damage to property.

Last year, the Department of Health (DOH) recorded 65 firecracker blast injuries in Western Visayas from Dec. 21, 2010-Jan. 5, 2011. As of Dec. 25 this year, three cases have been reported in the region.

In Davao City, Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte renewed the warning against traders and anyone caught violating the firecracker ban in the city, saying they would spend their New Year in jail.

“Once you are in possession of the banned items, even if you’re only in transit through Davao City, you’re already liable under the law,” the vice mayor said over a Sunday television program here.

Davao City is on its tenth year ban on firecrackers, noted to be one of the leading causes of death and injuries during Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, which prompted the city council to pass and approve an ordinance effectively banning firecrackers. The ordinance, passed in 2001, was the first in the country, although there are continuing reports of violations.

In the Visayas, bullets and firecracker blasts have hurt several people. A teenager and a woman were hit by stray bullets in Catbalogan City, Samar, and Cebu City while a 20-year-old man was shot by his uncle after a party in Iloilo City. Ten persons were hurt by firecracker blasts.

In Cebu, a 24-year-old woman was hit by a stray bullet in Barangay Bulacao, Cebu City. Evangeline Tacoloy suffered a bullet wound in the forearm, according to Mae Albios, nurse at the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (Resu) in Central Visayas.

Authorities reported a drop in the number of firecracker victims in Cebu. But police and health officials had not received any reported cases of injuries caused by firecracker blast in Leyte, Samar and Iloilo.

Dr. Julia Villanueva, cluster head for noncommunicable diseases of the DOH in Western Visayas, said only one fire-cracker blast injury has been reported since Dec. 21 in the two monitoring sites in the region—the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City and the Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City.

But in Cebu, 10 persons aged 3 to 35 were hurt due to firecracker blasts, said Albios of Resu-7.

But she said the number was lower compared to last year’s figures where 12 people were hurt during the Christmas Eve revelry.


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