The government has a duty to protect public interest and health, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said, as he responded to the concerns of firecrackers manufacturers over his announcement for a complete ban on firecracker use.
In a public address Monday, President Duterte said he sympathizes with Bulacan firecracker manufacturers over loss of livelihood with the impending ban.
“I might even sympathize with you. Loss of earnings and you are driven out of business. But the problem is the higher duty of government to protect public interest, public health,” the President said.
The problem with locally-made firecrackers, he said, is that these are not well-regulated and many do not comply with safety standards. Products are also not properly marked making it hard for the government to go after manufacturers in case of accidents.
“Kaya sinabi ko it’s a health issue kasi ‘pag na-ospital ka doon and nabulag ka o na — you get burned all over, walang mag-ano eh. Nobody except for government because it’s our job. But actually, nonchalant ‘yon. We don’t care. Basta binili na, tapos na,” he said.
“Hindi puwede ‘yang ganoon eh. Dapat diyan with every product that is sold to the public, government must have an intervention or to interdict something which is really not good.”
With the imposition of a nationwide ban on firecrackers, President Duterte suggested that it may be time for local firecracker makers to look for other sources of livelihood.
Bulacan authorities asked the President not to enforce a national prohibition on the sale of firecrackers as they hope to recover foregone revenues because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Early this month, the President has raised the possibility of a nationwide firecracker ban to protect public health and safety. PND