In support of the national government’s call to implement a firecracker ban, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has ordered the strict enforcement of an ordinance prohibiting the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices in all public places during festivities.
In an advisory, Belmonte directed the Quezon City Police District (DPOS), the 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, S-2017.
“The strict implementation of the Firecracker Ordinance, will, aside from reducing firecracker injuries, discourage gatherings for fireworks display and aid in compliance with COVID-19 health protocols,” Belmonte said.
“The reduction in firecracker injuries will also ease the burden on medical resources, which are already overstrained by the ongoing pandemic,” she added.
Belmonte issued the order in support of the Metro Manila Council MMDA Resolution No. 20-17, prohibiting the individual and household use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices during
general community quarantine (GCQ).
The resolution stressed that 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 Regional Peace and Order Council-NCR’s Resolution No. 19, S-2020 also enjoins all Metro Manila local government units to enforce a total ban on firecracker use.
In its resolution, the RPOC-NCR encouraged Metro Manila LGUs to implement ban on firecrackers as directed by Executive Order No. 28 issued by President Duterte in 2017.
Ordinance No. SP 2618, S-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 has tasked barangay captains to strictly enforce the ban within their respective jurisdictions with the assistance from the QCPD and DPOS.
Those caught violating the provisions of the ordinance will be meted a fine of P5,000 or one-year imprisonment, or both at the discretion of the court.
As of this time, there are only three community fireworks displays allowed by the DPOS, to be held at the Quezon Memorial Circle, Eastwood City and Araneta City. The fireworks display will be virtual, and no crowd will be allowed in the venues to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“Hopefully, we can still ring in the New Year with a fireworks display because this has already been our longstanding tradition,” said Gen. Elmo San Diego, DPOS head.
The Quezon City Council also passed Ordinance No. SP-2587, S-2017, which outlaws the selling, giving and sharing of any type of firecracker to minor children within its territorial jurisdiction.
The ordinance covers firecrackers such as Baby Rocket, Bawang, Small Triangulo, Pulling of Strings, Paper Caps, El Diablo, Judah’s Belt, Rocket, and other equivalent firecrackers.
Violators will be meted a fine of P5,000 or one-year imprisonment, or both at the discretion of the court.