Dalipe signs into law new firecracker edict

Mayor John Dalipe last week signed into law Ordinance No. 632, lifting the ban on the use, sale, possession, distribution and storage of consumer pyrotechnics in Zamboanga City for a limited period from December 1 of each calendar year to January 6 of the immediate succeeding year.

After the limited period as prescribed in the new ordinance, the ban on the use, sale, possession, distribution and storage of consumer pyrotechnics shall be reinstated.

The ban took effect after the infamous Zamboanga Siege in 2013 and has since been implemented pursuant to Ordinance No. 431 as amended by Ordinance No. 596 as amended by Ordinance No. 599, all imposing regulations and sanctions on the use, sale, possession, distribution and storage of commercial firecrackers or professional fireworks display in Zamboanga City.

Ordinance 632 was enacted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod under the leadership of Vice Mayor Josephine E. Pareja, presiding officer, on Nov. 28, 2023, and approved by Mayor Dalipe on Dec. 11, this year.

Under the new ordinance, the City of Zamboanga shall continue to regulate all forms of firecrackers in accordance with the provisions of RA 7183, otherwise known as the “Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, Distribution, and Use of Firecrackers and other Pyrotechnic Devices,” its Implementing Rules and Regulations, and other circulars or issuances issued by competent authorities.

The new ordinance further stipulates that “only duly authorized, licensed individuals, business establishments and permit holders shall be allowed to sell and distribute consumer pyrotechnics,” provided that the same shall only be allowed inside the establishments operating with registered business permits.

Moreover, the ordinance strictly prohibits minors, pregnant women, those with respiratory and related health issues from buying any of such consumer pyrotechnic products or devices.

Buying of consumer pyrotechnics shall be exclusively for personal use, thus the ordinance declared unlawful for a person or individual to purchase the same in bulk or grossly in excess of what can be personally used, the amount of which should not be more than P5,000. Violation of such provision shall be penalized with a fine of P5,000 per offence.

Ordinance 632 will take effect immediately after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation in Zamboanga City.-[Vic Larato]

(Editor’s Note: The ordinance was first published in ZT, Dec. 15, 2023 issue.)