By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) said the manufacturing and selling of firecrackers and pyrotechnics in the province will be strictly regulated as the holiday season gets closer.
Lt. Colonel Joem Malong, NOCPPO deputy director for operations, said firecracker manufacturers must secure permits with the Philippine National Police-Firearms and Explosives Unit.
The NOCPPO will begin inspecting the licenses and permits of firecracker manufacturers and sellers in the province.
Malong cited a case last year wherein a resident from La Carlota City faced charges for violating firecracker and pyrotechnic regulations.
They are also expecting several new firecrackers this holiday season, such as “Good Bye COVID,” that could be added to the list of prohibited firecrackers, including whistle bomb, giant bawang, large Judas belt, and boga.
NOCPPO spokesperson, Major Rhojn Darrel Nigos, said police station commanders were directed last week to account local firecracker manufacturers, distributors and vendors.
Nigos said they are also accounting for firecracker-related incidents in the province last year.
He added that NOCPPO director, Colonel Leo Pamittan, has set an objective for zero firecracker-related incidents for this year.
Data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed that Negros Occidental had the highest number of firecracker-related injuries in Western Visayas last year, with 72.
There were no reported amputations during the period.
DOH in Western Visayas’ Dr. Bea Camille Natalaray said most victims of firecracker-related incidents are minors.
There were also five recorded cases involving intoxicated adult males./DGB, WDJ