Officials warn public of dangerous prohibited firecrackers

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BOCAUE, Bulacan—Officials warned the public of at least 23 prohibited type of firecrackers as sales of fireworks products in more than 100 stalls in this fireworks capital of the country and in other towns in the province has been round the clock since on Christmas Day barely seven days before welcoming 2024.  

Lea Alapide, president of Philippine Pyrotechnic Manufacturers and Dealers Inc. (PPMDAI) released the list of prohibited firecrackers, most commonly (paputok) and not pailaw (pyrotechnics such as different types of aerial shots and fountains) as Region 3 police Director PGen Jose Hidalgo Jr. accompanied by Bulacan Police Director Col. Relly Arnedo and Bocaue Vice Mayor Sherwin Tugna conducted an inspection at fireworks stores in one of the pyrozone areas in Barangay Turo here on Wednesday.

Alapide identified Watusi, Piccolo, big Five Star, Plapla, Lolo Thunder, Giant Whistle Bomb, Atomic Bomb, Atomic Triangle, large size Judas Belt, Goodbye Delima, Hello Columbia, Goodbye Napoles, Super Yolanda, Mother Rockets, Kwiton, Super Lolo, Goodbye Bading, Goodbye Philippines, Bin Laden. Coke-in-Can, Pillbox and Kabasi.

Bulacan police on its most recent anti-illegal firecracker operations on Saturday seized 2 large pieces of Judas Belt, 4 packs of Kabasi, (10 pieces each pack), 4 packs of Plapla (10 pieces each pack), 10 pieces of KIngkong and other paraphernalias used in the manufacture of firecracker from a 38 year old fly-by-night maker in Sitio Bihinan, Barangay Binang 1st in this town.

Arnedo said charges of violation to R.A. 7183, the laws on manufacture, sales and distribution of fireworks, had been filed against the arrested.

According to Alapide, all firecrackers which are overweight or oversized or more than what is prescribed under RA 7183, which is more than 0.2 grams or more than 1/3tespoon in explosive chemical content is prohibited.

Also not allowed to be sold are all imported finished firecracker and pyrotechnic products that contain fuel and oxidizing agent; including all unlabeled locally-made products; firecrackers with mixture of phosphorous and/or sulfur with that of chlorates including “Boga,” a household improvised cracker using huge water plastic pipe that produced a huge bang.    

These illegal firecrackers can cause burns and loss of limbs and can cause deaths, Arnedo warned.

The PPMDAI head also said that manufacture, sales and distribution of fireworks products by any unlicensed manufacturers are also strictly not allowed under RA 7183 including fireworks that are transported without “Permit to Transport” to any manufacturer or dealer and persons transporting more than 1,000 kilograms of finished products. However, the proof of purchase shall be sufficient from the registered dealer or manufacturer if the finished products to be transported are less than 1,000 kilograms, Section 6, Rule III, of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 7183 states.

According to Magnolia Farinas, owner of M. S. Farinas Fireworks in Barangay Turo,there are also reports that illegal manufacturers sold products online using social media.

“These should also be caught by the police” she told NEWS CORE at her stall on Monday.

Alapide also decried the continuous sales of fireworks products online by big time online selling companies.   

Sales of firecracker and pyrotechnics have been round the double or 24 hours since on Christmas Day or seven days before the new year celebration as buyers from different places in the country particularly from Metro Manila, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Cavite, Ilocos, Pangasinan rushed to the stalls here for bulk purchases.  

Prices of firecrackers and pyrotechnics are lower this time unlike the high commanding prices in 2022 due to enough supply this year.

Compared to last year, Alapide explained, there is enough supply of chemicals and other materials needed for the production this year which assures a similarly high volume of available market supply.

The regular aerial shots pyrotechnic or “pailaw” dropped to its original 2021 price of P1,300-1.500 compared to 2,500-P3,000 prices last year.

According to Farinas,they now see an over supply in fireworks products due to the volume of produce brought by the ease in the importation of the chemicals.

In 2022, because of the continued pandemic restrictions, there was no ample supply of imported chemicals used in the manufacture of fireworks products.

The 16 shots aerial fireworks priced at P3,500 last year are only at P1,500 today. The kwitis at P12.00 per piece last year is only P6.00 per piece today.  The P1,000 worth 1,000 rounds of sawa last year is only at P550 this year. The P10,000 worth 10,000 rounds last year is now only P5,000.

Farinas just like any other stores would begin round the clock 24 hours sales starting on Dec. 25 Christmas Day where they expect the New Year revelry sales to kick off.

Based on tradition, volume of sales starts on Christmas Day and or Dec. 26, just the day following the Christmas Day itself where the people are already done celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and are already focused on celebrating the coming new year.

”The sales have been slow these past few days. People were focused on buying food. But we expect the high volume to begin today and or tomorrow. This year, manufacturers produced enough supply. It assured the public of stable supply and low to regular prices and not with commanding high prices similar to last year,” Farinas added.

However, she said, because there will be no high demand, the amount of prices are regulated and dealers cannot sell commanding high prices.

But for Teresa Diocson, 19, from City of San Jose del Monte, store attendant at Alba Mendoza Majik Fireworks also in Turo, their sales have been good already since December 10 and that not all  the prices of the fireworks products dropped.

She said the mini aerial which was sold last year at P800 is now priced at P1,000.

The fountains she said, particularly “Batibot”at P35.00 each today increased to P10.00 from P25.00 last year while other fountains did not increase and remained at P60.00.

The Kwitis last year however at P900.00 per 100 pieces bundle is now P800.

According to Alapide, they expect a high volume of sales until the last minute or until Dec. 31.

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