Exec. order on firecrackers likely to be implemented Sept. 2017, says health chief

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) said Friday the proposed executive order on regulating the use of firecrackers will likely be implemented next year.

“EO on firecrackers to be implemented in September 2017,” Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial said in her twitter account.

Ubial added that while they want the EO to be signed and implemented as soon as possible, certain concerns need to be addressed at the moment.

In recent press conferences and interviews, Ubial has said they are hopeful and optimistic that the signed EO on the regulation of firecrackers could be presented to the public as early as December 5.

Malacañang Palace however recently announced the “postponement” of the signing of the EO in consideration of the firecracker industry that may be affected by the order.

“Our position is to save lives and prevent as much suffering and disability as possible,” Ubial said in an interview.

She also confirmed that there have been requests from firecracker manufacturers for a delay in the implementation of the EO so as not to affect their livelihood.

She said that with the “postponement”, the department is still hopeful that the EO would be signed as soon as possible, so injuries could be prevented during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Dr. Gerardo Bayugo, in a separate interview, said the “postponement” could have been to help firecracker manufacturers not to incur losses.

“But we will still continue our advocacy for a safer, healthier New Year through our ‘Iwas Paputok, Ingat Paputok’, that we are advocating at the DOH,” Bayugo added.

Under the proposed EO, only experts will be allowed to handle the lighting of firecrackers in an identified area to ensure the people’s safety.

Firecrackers have been blamed for the high number of injuries, even deaths during the Christmas and New Year revelries. Accidental explosions in firecracker factories have also claimed lives and destroyed properties. Leilani Junio/PNA-northboundasia.com