CHECK. Policemen check retailers of firecrackers and pyrotechnics in Tacloban City in this photo released on Thursday (Dec. 29, 2022). Days before the New Year celebrations, the Philippine National Police is stepping up its watch on firecrackers trade in the region to ensure safe revelries. (Photo courtesy of Tacloban police)

TACLOBAN CITY – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is stepping up its watch on firecrackers trade in Eastern Visayas to ensure safe New Year revelries

PNP Eastern Visayas regional information officer Lt. Col. Maria Bella Rentuaya said on Thursday policemen have been checking resellers to ensure they are authorized and are only trading products allowed by law.

Regulated firecrackers under Republic Act 7183 and Executive Order No. 28 are “bawang, El Diablo, Judas belt, paper caps, pulling of strings, sky rocket, small triangulo,” and other firecrackers not overweight and not imported.

Allowed fireworks devices include butterfly, fountain, jumbo regular and special, luces, mabuhay, Roman candle, sparkles, trompillo, and whistle device.”

Prohibited include “watusi, piccolo, poppop, five star, pla-pla, lolo thunder, giant bawang, giant whistle bomb, atomic bomb, super lolo, atomic triangle, goodbye bading, large size Judas belt, Goodbye Philippines, Goodbye Delima, Bin Laden, Hello Columbia, Mother Rockets, Super Yolanda, pillbox, mother rockets, boga, kwiton,” and other overweight and oversized firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

The official said several firecrackers and pyrotechnics have been confiscated in the past few days, especially in cities and capital towns.

“The PNP strongly advises the public against the use of illegal firecrackers and pyrotechnics devices to prevent injuries and fatalities from firecracker-related accidents,” Rentuaya added.

Currently, the region has three authorized dealers all located in this city, and 105 authorized retailers in six provinces.

As part of security measures, some 2,500 policemen have been assigned to places of convergence to ensure peace and order and security during holiday celebrations.

Meanwhile, based on the monitoring of the Department of Health regional office, no firecracker-related injuries have been reported from the six provinces of the region since it kicked off the monitoring last week.

“This is a result of cooperation and compliance of the public to advisories issued by concerned government agencies,” said DOH regional information officer Jelyn Lopez-Malibago in a text message.

In the same period in 2021, the DOH recorded three cases of firecracker injuries. (PNA)