Zamboanga City folk to mark Christmas, New Year without firecrackers

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/02 October) – Starting this year, residents will have to find other ways to celebrate Christmas and welcome the New Year with the passage of an ordinance that bans firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

In its regular session on Tuesday, the city council approved on third and final reading Ordinance No. 2014-35 banning the use, sale, possession, distribution, storage, and manufacture of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

Councilor Benjamin Guingona and 14 of his colleagues sponsored what is now “The Firecracker Ban Ordinance of 2014.”

Guingona said violators will be slapped with a fine of not less than P1,000 nor more than P5,000 or imprisonment of not less than six months nor more than one year or both at the discretion of the court.

He, however, said the ordinance allows the transshipment and temporary storage of firecrackers or pyrotechnic devices intended for transport to other areas.

He said the city government will be the one to determine the temporary storage area in coordination with the Firearms, Explosives, Security Service Agency and Guards Supervisory Section.

He said the allowable period for temporary storage is three days and may be extended for another three days if there are valid reasons.

The ordinance was certified urgent by Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar.

Last year, Salazar issued an executive order banning the use, sale and distribution of all types of firecrackers and pyrotechnics in this city amid fears brought about by the September 2013 standoff between government forces and members of the Moro National Liberation Front loyal to Nur Misuari. (MindaNews)