AS part of the Philippine National Police’s program to help reduce firecracker and pyrotechnics-related injuries and even deaths, the PNP leadership headed by, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde, yesterday called on the public anew to immediately report to the nearest police station the presence of street vendors and ‘sari-sari store’ owners selling the stuff to minors since the act is against the law.
Under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 7183 or an Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, Distribution and Use of Firecrackers and other Pyrotechnic Devices, dealers are prohibited from selling firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices under 18 years of age.
Section 6 of RA 7183 also states that ‘children using firecrackers and fireworks must be under adult supervision.’ It also says that ‘any buyer of firecrackers and/or pyrotechnic devices who is suspected to be below 18 years of age but claims otherwise shall be required to show proof of his age.
The warning was made in the wake of incidents of deadly firecracker explosions or even swallowing of ‘watusi’ that have killed young kids or caused the amputation of their fingers or even blinded them in the past.
In some cases, children playing with firecrackers without the supervision of adults are believed to have unintentionally started deadly fires in their neighborhood.
As a precautionary measure, authorities have warned parents to see to it that they would prevent their children from buying and using ‘Piccolo’ and ‘Watusi’ from street vendors or their neighborhood ‘sari-sari stores.’
Under the law, any person who manufactures, sells, distributes or uses firecrackers and pyrotechnics in violation of the provisions of the IRR of RA 7183 shall be punished by a fine of not less than P20,000 nor more than P30,000 or imprisonment of not less than six months nor more than one year or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court in addition to the cancellation of his/her licenses and business permit and the confiscation by the Government of his/her inventory stock.