SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Mayor Pablo C. Ortega has directed civil security personnel, firemen and policemen here to strengthen security at the city plaza, which been designated as a firecracker zone, following reports of firecracker incidents that caused injuries to residents.

Ortega also ordered personnel of the Permits and Licensing Section to strictly implement laws regulating the sale of super “lolo,” bawang and “watusi” firecrackers. The super “lolo” and “bawang” are powerful firecrackers that could cause serious injuries and maim people and cause fire, while “watusi” is poisonous for children.

“We want to ensure the safety of our people as there are unscrupulous traders who sell the stuff anywhere. We give them permit so we can check if they are legal or not,” Ortega told Northbound.

Ortega said the sale of “watusi” is now prohibited in the city because there have been cases where children swallowed it, mistaking it for chocolate.

City Police Chief Superintendent Julius Suriben said policemen have been deployed at the city plaza to ensure security and provide immediate response to untoward incidents.

Suriben said that some some cops are also conducting bike patrols, going around the city proper, particularly at the “night market,” where people shop for goods and daily needs. Jun Elias/NorthboundPH