In support of the national government’s call to implement a firecracker ban, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Tuesday directed the strict enforcement of an ordinance prohibiting the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices in all public places during festivities.
The same was ordered for Caloocan City, as Mayor Oscar Malapitan said the use of any fireworks and pyrotechnic devices is prohibited in Metro Manila, which is currently under the General Community Quarantine, including his city.
Caloocan said this is based on the released Resolution No. 20-17 series of 2020 of the Metro Manila Council, which includes all mayors in the National Capital Region.
In an advisory, Belmonte ordered the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS), and other members of the city’s Peace and Order Cluster to strictly implement Ordinance No. SP 2618 of 2017.
“The strict implementation of the Firecracker Ordinance, will, aside from reducing firecracker injuries, discourage gatherings for fireworks display and aid in compliance with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health protocols,” she said.
“The reduction in firecracker injuries will also ease the burden on medical resources, which are already overstrained by the ongoing pandemic,” she added.
“As we celebrate the new year, we must prioritize the safety of our family and ourselves. By banning the use of fireworks, we will ensure that firework-related injuries are avoided, and COVID-19 can be prevented,” Malapitan said.
The Caloocan resolution states that those caught violating will face the penalties contained in Republic Act 7183 and City Ordinance No. 0648 s. 2016 or the law regarding the manufacture, sale, distribution and use of fireworks and lighting.
Also, the violation of Republic Act No. 11332 o Mandatory Reporting Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.
According to Mayor Oca, the City Government will issue a memorandum to 188 barangays in Caloocan regarding the new order, to ensure that it is strictly enforced. He also ordered the Caloocan Police to ensure that the law is strictly enforced along with peace and order.
Belmonte issued the QC order in support of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s Metro Manila Council Resolution No. 20-17, prohibiting the individual and household use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices during general community quarantine.
The resolution cited the individual and household use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices attract mass gatherings without proper observance of COVID-19 safety protocols, such as social distancing and allowed number of persons.
The National Capital Region’s Regional Peace and Order Council Resolution No. 19 of 2020 also enjoins all Metro Manila local government units to enforce a total ban on firecracker use.
In its resolution, the RPOC-NCR encouraged local government units to implement a prohibition on firecrackers as directed by Executive Order No. 28 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017.
Ordinance No. SP 2618 of 2017 prohibits the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices in all public places in Quezon City during festivity or any occasion unless there is a clearance from the DPOS.
Public places include street, road, alley, thoroughfare, open space, plaza, parks, basketball courts and other similar places.
The ordinance tasked village executives to strictly enforce the ban within their jurisdictions with the assistance from the QCPD and DPOS.
A violator shall be meted a P5,000 fine or one-year imprisonment, or both at the discretion of the court.
Quezon City has three community fireworks displays at the Quezon Memorial Circle, Eastwood City and Araneta City.