Bulacan Gov. Daniel Fernando (5th from left), with Lea Alapide, (4th from left), president of Philippine Pyrotechnic Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc. (PPMDAI) with Bulacan Police director Col. Relly Arnedo (3rd from right), and other police and Bureau of Fire Protection officials during the fireworks training seminar held at the Capitol Gymnasium. Contributed photo

CITY OF MALOLOS—The Philippine Pyrotechnic Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc. (PPMDAI) began this year’s series of fifteen nationwide safety training seminars to help ensure the safety of all stakeholders and the present and future stability of the industry.  

Leah Alapide, president of the PPMDAI led more than 500 manufacturers, dealers and retailers from Bulacan, Tarlac, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Cavite, Laguna, Pangasinan and Ilocos region in attending the Fireworks Safety Seminar sponsored by the Bulacan Provincial Government on March 29 at the Capitol GYmnasiumin this capital city not only for safety production but also in compliance for the police issuance of training and seminar certificate. 

Alapide said completing the seminar and the issuance of the certificates guarantees on-time preparation and operation for the December 2023 sales.

She said compared with the previous years wherein industry players failed to secure the necessary seminar training certificates ahead of time which caused them to operate illegally while others totally were unable to operate, the preparations for this year were made early and extensively.  

Bulacan Police Director Col. Relly Arnedo and other police officers from the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) of the Philippine National Police Office led the trainers group in the one day seminar.

Alapide said that with such training and seminar program, the PPMDAI aims to reach its vision to become economically stable, produce quality fireworks with safety as its foremost thrust and aims to eliminate accident and injuries in the manufacture, storage and transport of fireworks products, PPMDAI and the government authorities are working together in developing programs to minimize untoward incidents.

Also, the activity including policing their rank is in line with their mission to make PPMDAI a responsible organization that shall work for the growth and development of the pyrotechnic industry and to be able to promote safety and quality oriented production, distribution, use and display of fireworks.

Gov. Daniel Fernando who heads the Bulacan Pyrotechnic Board reminds the attendees to personally take charge of the quality control of their products to help ensure the safety of all stakeholders and assure the stability of the industry.   

Fernando said he personally experienced the negative effect of a poor-quality made kuwitis with a very thin bamboo stick and which almost hurt them during one of their political campaign sorties years ago.

At the same time, he continues to caution users not to crack fireworks when they are under the influence of liquor.

He said one of his close kin lost fingers after lighting a firecracker while drunk.

“Now the five fingers in one of his hands is less and with only two left because he was drunk when he used the firecracker,” the governor shared with the seminar attendees. 

“This is the right opportunity for us to be refreshed of our safety production techniques. It is our major duty and obligation for the industry and for the Filipino people who continue to patronize the very own industry of our province,” he said.

The governor said he continue to defend the usage of fireworks products within one’s family front and backyards because such merry-making is parallel to the Filipino tradition of unity and togetherness in welcoming the new year and not for other members to go to a pyro zone away from the rest of the family members in order just to watch a fireworks show.

From April to September, Safety Training Seminars are slated in Region 2, Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR) Region 6, Regions 4A and 4B, Regions 7 and 8 Region 1 and CAR, Region 5, Region 12, BARRM and Region 13 and Region 11.