Legazpi City (Nov. 25, 2016) – Starting today, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will be mobilising all Labor Inspectors nationwide to monitor establishments involved in the manufacture and sale of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic materials.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III made this announcement while denying reports that they were totally shutting down the operations of these businesses following the latest accident that happened in Bulacan.
Bello explained that they would like to find out if these shops are adhering to Occupational Safety Standards being mandated by the Labor Code.
The move, according to him, is to actually suspend the operations of these firms if they are not following the law.
The secretary cited the latest incident wherein two children were the fatalities of an explosion that gutted a firecracker factory in Sta. Maria, Bulacan recently.
The DOLE, he said, would like to “prevent deadly accidents in factories.”
Bello also mentioned the discovery of gunpowder in one of the establishments in the town of Bocaue.
In addition to this immediate measure, the nationwide inspection of these stores and factories would be in close coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP).
When asked about a proposed national policy on a total ban on firecrackers, the secretary explained that the plan is being studied.
If ever it pushes through, he clarified that it was going to be the Department of Health (DOH) who would be framing the Implementing Rules and Regulations regarding the said proposal.
Pres. Rodrigo Duterte himself has been pushing for a total ban on fireworks all over the Philippines patterned after an ordinance implemented when he was still mayor of Davao City. (J. Garalde)