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30, 2014

NR # 3696

Committee on Public Order & Safety approves

creation of TWG on firecracker bills
The House Committee on Public Order and Safety has approved the creation of a technical
working group (TWG) that will consolidate three pending proposals to strictly regulate the sale,
distribution, and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices and providing penalties for
violations thereof.
In a recent hearing prior to the congressional holiday break, the committee chaired by Rep.
Jeffrey P. Ferrer (4th District, Negros Occidental) named Rep. Leopoldo N. Bataoil (2 nd District,
Pangasinan) as head of the TWG which is tasked to consolidate House Bills 786, 1409 and 4434.
Rep. Samuel D. Pagdilao (Party-list, ACT-CIS), a committee vice chairman, said the TWG
creation shows that the panel considers the proposed stricter regulation of the manufacture, sale,
distribution, and use of firecrackers as among its priority measures.
I believe the firecracker bills are among the legislative priorities of the committee. That is
why a TWG has been organized to speed up consolidation of all similar bills related to
firecrackers. The committee hearings on the consolidated bill will much depend on how fast the
TWG finishes its job and submits this to the committee for deliberation, said Pagdilao.
Pagdilao said he himself is in support of the immediate deliberation and approval of the
consolidated bills. I support the early consideration and passage of the consolidated bills to
address the yearly concern brought about by firecrackers. I am for the strict regulation of the
manufacture, sale and use of firecrackers, said Pagdilao.
During the committee hearing, representatives of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) of
the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Bureau of Product
Standards (BPS) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) expressed support for the bills.
However, representatives of the Philippine Pyrotechnic Manufacturers and Dealers
Association Inc. (PPMDAI) and the Philippine Fireworks Association (PFA) agreed that the
existing law, Republic Act 7183, otherwise known as the An Act Regulating The Sale,
Manufacture, Distribution And Use Of Firecrackers And Other Pyrotechnic Devices, and its
Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) are sufficient enough to regulate the sale,
manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices. What is needed, they
said, is a strict implementation and enforcement of RA 7183.
Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga), author of HB 786, or the
proposed Firecracker Use Regulation Act of 2013, said while the governments campaign
against the use of firecrackers seems to be working as firecracker injuries are decreasing, the fact
remains that year after year, hundreds upon hundreds fall victim to firecrackers.
The tragedy is that innocent children are the most vulnerable to these irresponsible acts in
the name of merry making. These senseless injuries, deaths and destruction of property can be

prevented by regulating the use of firecrackers, said Arroyo.

House Bill 786 prohibits the use of firecrackers by a non-professional or without the
supervision of a professional, which carries a penalty of P50,000 to P100,000 fine and
imprisonment of one month and one day to one year. It also prohibits the use of firecrackers
outside the firecracker area, which carries a penalty of P10,000 to P50,000 fine and imprisonment
of six months and one day to one year. Likewise, it prohibits the use of firecrackers in any
organized activity outside of a designated firecracker area without clearance, which carries a
penalty of P50,000 to P200,000 fine and imprisonment of six months and one day to one year.
Lastly, the bill prohibits anyone from inducing, directing, instructing or allowing a minor
to use a firecracker which carries a penalty of P50,000 to P200,000 fine and imprisonment of six
months and one day to one year.
Meanwhile, House Bill HB 1409, authored by Rep. Harlin Cast. Abayon (1 st District,
Northern Samar), seeks to amend Sec. 11 of RA 7183 so that any person who manufactures, sells,
distributes or uses firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices in violation of the provisions of RA
7183 shall be punished by P500,000 to P1 million fine and imprisonment of 6 to 12 years in
addition to the cancellation of his/her license and business permit and the confiscation by
government of his/her inventory stock. The present penalty is P20,000 to P30,000 fine and
imprisonment of six years to one year, or both, at the discretion of the court.
House Bill 4434, or the Firecracker Regulation Act of 2014 authored by, Rep. Sherwin
T. Gatchalian (1st District, Valenzuela City), seeks to amend RA 7183 to provide stricter
regulations in an effort to protect the people from traditions that are inimical to public health and
safety and to prevent firework-related fires and injuries.
Every year, we endure from the pollutants caused by the use of firecrackers to welcome
the New Year and we see news flashes of countless injuries, especially to the hapless children.
Until when should we allow this cycle of perils to our health and environment?, said Gatchalian.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), he said there were a total of 1,018
firework-related injuries at the start of 2014, owing to the end of the year revelry. Gatchalian said
the figure is 73 cases or 8% higher than the five year (2008-2012) average and 87 cases or 9%
higher than the same period in 2013.
The bill provides that manufacturers, dealers and wholesale distributors of firecrackers and
other pyrotechnic devices shall provide the names and addresses of their accredited stores,
outlets, distributors or re-sellers to the Philippine National Police-Firearms and Explosives Office
(FEO) as a pre-requisite for the approval of the manufacturers or dealers license permit. The
stores, outlets, dealers, etc. shall also apply for a permit to sell from the PNP, and will adopt a
one store, one permit policy. Violators shall be penalized with P100,000 to P500,000 fine or
imprisonment of six months to three years, or both, at the discretion of the court.
Those who violate the limitation on purchases and the prohibition on the sale of
firecrackers to minors shall be punished with a P100,000 fine and the revocation of license.
Parents and guardians who knowingly instigate the purchase of fireworks or pyrotechnic devices
by their minor child or ward shall be fined P10,000. (30) rbb