In Tagum City, which has no firecracker ban, reports from provincial police chief, Sr. Supt. Benito Bianzon to Tango said 12-year old Keano Jay Buemil of Dalisay Gante in Tagum City suffered injuries on the upper part of his arm while Eduardo Rade, 41, sustained injuries on his right hand from firecracker explosions.
Also in Tagum, the right hand of nine-year old Joyce Camarin Touzo, of Purok Dalisay 56, Briz district, was hit by a stray bullet but she has been pronounced out of danger.
In Davao City which has imposed a firecracker ban since 2001 and where both children and adults greet the New Year with pots and pans, bells and car horns, majority of those arrested or 59 of the 77, were minors. A total of P7,500 worth of firecrackers was also confiscated.
The Davao City Council passed Ordinance 060-02 in 2002, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, distribution, possession, or use of firecrackers or pyrotechnic devices.
But the ban began a year before the ordinance was passed.
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.
The cordinance 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.
The ban is not limited only to Christmas and New Year. Firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices are banned as well in the celebration of the Chinese New Year and the Muslims’ Eid’l Fitr (end of Ramadhan).
During the ASEAN Tourism Forum in 2006 which the city hosted, the display of fireworks was not allowed. The activity was held in Samal City, across the Davao Gulf.
City Hall insiders told MindaNews organizers had difficulties transporting the fireworks to Samal since they could not go through Davao City because of the ban. (MindaNews)