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DOH: Expect firecracker EO by September 2017

Health department seeks to finalize executive order to be signed by President Duterte

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By Charina Echaluce and MB Online

Expect the executive order on the regulated use of firecrackers to be implemented by September 2017, health secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said.

MB FILE—Cebuanos can buy various fireworks at the South Reclamation Project vacant area where Cebu City Government designated the stalls where it is much more safer and shops are required to put up “no smoking” and “no testing”. Only Mandaue City may have a more quiet Christmas and New Year’s Eve as the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Mandaue has declared the entire city a “no firecracker zone.” (Photo by: Juan Carlo de Vela)

MB FILE—Cebuanos can buy various fireworks at the South Reclamation Project vacant area where Cebu City Government designated the stalls where it is much more safer and shops are required to put up “no smoking” and “no testing”. Only Mandaue City may have a more quiet Christmas and New Year’s Eve as the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Mandaue has declared the entire city a “no firecracker zone.” (Photo by: Juan Carlo de Vela)

Under the proposed executive order, the use of firecrackers will be regulated and limited for the use of trained professionals and in controlled areas only.

But it provides that the pyrotechnics will remain “unregulated” and can still be used by all individuals.

“We are working so hard so that the president can sign this EO… We work hard so that this EO can be implemented ASAP [as soon as possible] for the safety” of Filipinos, said health undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo.

While neither a firecrackers ban nor regulated use is implemented, Bayugo said the agency will continue promoting a safer and healthier New Year.

“We will still continue our advocacy for a safer healthier New Year; and Iwas-paputok, Ingat paputok, whatever will that we will be advocating at the DOH,” he said.

From December 21, 2015 to January 4, 2016, a total of 839 firecracker-related injuries were recorded by the DOH.

On Thursday, the labor department issued an indefinite work stoppage order on all manufacturers and vendors of firecrackers and pyrotechnics, compelling them to undergo assessment of their compliance with occupational safety and health standards and general labor practices.

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