City Council eyes total firecracker ban in ZC PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 16:12

The City Council is expected to discuss in today’s regular session, whether to impose or not, a total ban on the sale of firecrackers in Zamboanga City, following Friday night’s explosion at a firecracker store in  Guiwan that burned four business stalls housed in a building and caused panic among residents.

District 1 Councilor Cesar ‘Jawo’ Jimenez Jr., said that “this is something that should not repeat anymore”.

Jimenez, who chairs the City Council’s Committee on Disaster and Calamity, said he was dismayed by revelations that the said firecracker store has been operating with an expired business license until last Friday’s incident.

“It appears that some government agencies tasked to check on this store’s operation slept in their job, and last Friday’s explosion may have been an eye opener for all concerned, whether or not, to continue allowing the sale of firecrackers here in the city,” Jimenez stressed.

Jimenez vowed to seek the local legislature’s nod through a Council resolution for the conduct of a public hearing, and “there, we will discuss if the city should continue allowing the selling of firecrackers, or we will just have to put a total ban on this kind of business here”.

Jimenez explained that such a move has to be carried on as soon as possible, without having to wait for the month of September this year, a particular period, where firecracker dealers will start to go through a long process of securing permit for their business.

“Much better if we will start tackling this issue as early as now so that these firecracker traders would not blame us, why we came out with an adverse decision at a time where they already started seeking permit for their firecracker business,” reasoned out Jimenez.

He said he will coordinate with the Committees on Ordinances and Resolutions headed by Councilor Charlie Mariano, as well as Councilor Roel “Elong” Natividad’s Peace and Order, to back him up for his call for a public hearing, to discuss whether to retain or totally scrap firecracker business in the city.

In the said hearing, Jimenez intends to invite officials from the City Licensing Office, City Administrator’s Office, City Planning and Development Office, City Fire Marshal, FESAGS, and the City Police Office, to shed light on last Friday’s incident, and that of a similar incident in January 2011, when a big explosion took place at a known firecracker warehouse in the interior of Nuñez Extension causing panic among residents.

“It is too disappointing to note, that until now, we have not heard anything from the task group PACIFIC, created by then Mayor Celso Lobregat, purposely, to investigate the January 2011 incident”, complained the District 1 councilor. — Philip Abuy