BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Bureau of Fire Department (BFP-CAR) questioned the procedures undertaken that led to the issuance of permit of the eleven Pailaw vendors who sold pyrotechnic materials along the Palispis-Aspiras highway, particularly at Poblacion, Tuba, Benguet last December 28-31, 2017 in time for the New Year revelry.
BFP-CAR assistant regional director for administration and operations Superintendent Allan Eballar raised the issue as based on records with the BFP-CAR, the special permit of the Pailaw vendors was issued by Tuba Mayor Ignacio Rivera on December 5, 2017 while their clearance from the PNP Civil Security Group based in Camp Crame, Quezon City was issued two days later.
Under existing rules and regulations, the local fire department is mandated to issue the required fire safety inspection certificate to the concerned Pailaw vendors upon a thorough inspection of the proposed site where the pyrotechnic materials are to be sold for a certain period.
However, Eballar pointed out that in the case of the Pailaw vendors that sold their pyrotechnic products in Tuba last year, the special permit came ahead before the PNP clearance and the fire safety inspection certificate which should be first issued by their office.
Chief Inspector Carolina Lacwata, public information officer of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in the Cordillera, relayed the information from the region’s firearm and explosive unit that the Pailaw vendors directly applied for their clearance from the PNP Civil Security Group in Camp Crame and the same did not pass the assessment and evaluation of the regional headquarters before such clearance was issued.
The eleven Pailaw vendors were forced to sell their pyrotechnic products in Tuba after Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan did not approve their request to allow the said products to be sold in the city in time for the New Year revelry.
Eballar expressed optimism that the same situation will not be repeated in the coming years when local governments allow the sale of pyrotechnic products even without the applicants complying with proper procedures even for such a dangerous activity.
He underscored the importance of cooperation of the public and local governments in the implementation of the stringent rules and regulations prohibiting the sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials in the different parts of the region to achieve zero casualty due to the dangerous items and for the public to use alternative ways of creating noise to celebrate the Yuletide season.
The BFP-CAR official claimed the gains of the government in trying to minimize the firecracker-related injuries en route to zero casualty should be sustained by local leaders and concerned stakeholders for the safety and protection of the people.
By Dexter A. See