Metro Manila Council (MMC) to release official guidelines on firecracker use

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) – a special governing body composed of incumbent mayors of cities of Metropolitan Manila – now has a new leader and as the Christmas holidays are nearing, they will soon release official guidelines regarding the use of firecrackers, the Manila Bulletin reported.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…

San Juan City Mayor and Metro Manila Council (MMC) President Francis Zamora said the MMC is set to release guidelines on the firecracker ban to be implemented in the National Capital Region (NCR) as part of its efforts to minimize the number of injuries caused by the misuse of firecrackers during the new year revelry.

During the joint session of the MMC and the Regional Development Council (RDC) which he co-chairs, Zamora said that the Metro Manila mayors will convene to discuss the guidelines they will implement regarding the firecracker ban which was first imposed by former President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017.

Executive Order no. 28, “Providing For The Regulation and Control of the Use of Firecrackers And Other Pyrotechnic Devices,” bans individuals from using firecrackers or setting up their own fireworks displays, a cultural tradition Filipinos are accustomed to during “events of personal, religious, cultural and national importance,” especially during New Year’s Eve or even the Chinese New Year.

“Magkakaroon ng designated firecracker areas. Ngunit depende din yan sa pagkakasunduan ng mayors kasi each city will have its own designated fireworks area para iwas syempre sa aksidente ngayong bagong taon (There will be designated firecracker areas, but these will depend on what the mayors of each city will agree upon because each city will have its own designated fireworks area to avoid accidents this new year),” Zamora said.

The EO sets forth the criteria that must be complied with before a display of fireworks can qualify such as: it must be conducted on the occasion or as part of a celebration, competition, or similar event held in a venue other than the residence; it is conducted under the supervision of Philippine National Police (PNP) – licensed and trained personnel; and, it has a municipal/city permit that states the date, time and area where the display will be conducted.

In December last year, the PNP released the names and brands of allowed and prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

In my experience, I often see sellers of firecrackers during the days leading to the New Year whenever I passed by BF Homes in Parañaque and along Tropical Avenue in BF International, Las Piñas. I wonder if they will make a comeback this year as the entire nation continues to recover socially and economically from COVID-19.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this development? Are you in favor of the use of firecrackers? Do you think the authorities are doing the right thing when it comes regulating or banning firecracker use? Do you think that the use of firecrackers pollutes the air too much during New Year’s Eve celebrations? If your household often buys firecrackers during the late stage of the year, how much money is spent each time?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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