New Year merrymaking: zero casualty, still, in Davao City

It is the seventh New Year since 2002 and the seventh Christmas since 2001 that the city registered “zero casualty” in injuries or death from firecracker blasts and stray bullets.

Davao City police chief Jaime Morente said the city registered “zero casualty” again but 56 persons were arrested for violating the firecracker ban. The violators were detained but the minors were released by the police in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Law.

The Talomo police also arrested Alfredo Oracion, a security guard, on December 30 for allegedly firing a .45 caliber handgun at Times Beach at around 3:30 a.m.

In 2001, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte banned the sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnics by not issuing business permits to vendors and malls intending to sell these. He said the money for fireworks would be better spent on food. He also announced a P5,000 bounty for anyone who could pinpoint anyone firing a gun during the merrymaking.

In 2002, the City Council passed Ordinance 060-02 prohibiting the manufacture, sale, distribution, possession, or use of firecrackers or pyrotechnic devices.
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte last week promised a P1,000 reward for any information on violators of the firecracker ban. He said the money will be released as soon as the police completes its investigation.

Asked about the fireworks display sponsored by local government units in several cities nationwide, Duterte said he would rather spend taxpayers’ money on rice rather spend it on fireworks.

He also said the local government is not exempt form the ordinance banning firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

The ordinance penalizes first offenders with a fine of P1,000 or imprisonment of 20 to 30 days, or both; second offenders with a fine of P3,000 or imprisonment of from one to three months or both; and third offenders, a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment of from three to six months, or both.

Managers or owners of business establishments caught violating the ordinance will also be held liable and their business permits cancelled on the third offense (MindaNews)