City Hall reminds residents of firecracker prohibition PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 December 2015 13:36

The City Government reminds residents of an existing Ordinance banning the use, sale, possession, distribution, manufacture and storage of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices in the city.

This, in anticipation of the New Year revelry when people ignite firecrackers and fireworks in the belief that such practice drives away bad luck and pull in good energy and fortune.

The City Administrator’s Office in coordination with the police and military authorities have mapped out plans for the enforcement of the Ordinance which took effect 2014.

Ordinance 431 enacted on September 30, 2014 institutionalizes the ban on the use, sale, possession, distribution, manufacture and storage of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices in the city to permanently eliminate unnecessary injuries, loss of lives, and damages to properties resulting from the negligent handling of the said devices. The ordinance is in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.

The prohibition is in effect not only during the Yuletide season or the New Year but “anytime regardless of the occasion except of such prohibited items are in the form of a cargo or cargoes that will only be used by the city as transhipment point to another ship or vessel or vehicle or other means of transportation to its point of destination outside of Zamboanga City”.

The transhipment of the banned items however has several conditions. Items in transit are to be stored temporarily in warehouses and other suggested storage facilities deemed safe as determined by the City Government and the Firearms Explosives Security Service Agency and Guards Supervisory Section (FESSAGS) for a period not exceeding 3 days and that the concerned dealer or supplier shall immediately notify the City and FESSAGS of any and all incoming cargo or cargoes containing the banned items.

Any person or business establishment found to be violating the law shall be penalized with a fine of not less than P1,000 nor more than P5,000, or imprisonment of not less than 6 months nor more than 1 year or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the Court in addition to the cancellation of the license or permit issued by the PNP and the Business Permit issued by the city and the confiscation by the city of his inventory or stock.

Administrative fines include P1,000 for first offense; P3,000 for second offense and P5,000 for third offense.

The local chief executive, through the City Administrator, in coordination with the City Fire Marshall, the FESSAGS, PNP and such other concerned agencies are directed to enforce the provisions of the Ordinance. Barangay chairmen are also deputized to enforce the law in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

The ordinance was authored by Councilors BG Guingona, Cesar Jimenez Jr., Charlie Mariano, Juan Climaco Elago II, Eduardo Saavedra Jr., Miguel Alavar III, Vincent Paul Elago, Luis Biel III, Melchor Rey Sadain, Jerry Perez, Roel Natividad, Rogelio Valesco Jr., Myra Paz Abubakar, Percival Ramos and Rommel Agan with Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde as presiding officer.

The ban on firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices is primarily to protect the residents from the risks these items pose on lives and properties as well as to prevent fear, anxieties and a contributory factor to the general feeling of threat and insecurity following the September 2013 siege. — Sheila Covarrubias