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Local Police Issue Stern Warning Against Illegal Firecracker Trade

Koronadal City, South Cotabato—To ensure public safety during the upcoming festive season, local police authorities are intensifying their crackdown on businesses engaged in the illegal sale of firecrackers. The stern warning comes as part of a broader initiative to curb the use of hazardous explosives and prevent injuries during the celebratory period.

“Businesses involved in the illegal sale of firecrackers will face serious legal consequences, including imprisonment ranging from six months to one year,” warns Police Major Ramil Aruelo, the Provincial PNP Information Officer.

Aruelo disclosed that in the previous year, law enforcement successfully confiscated illegal firecrackers from various towns, including Surallah, Sto. Nino, Norala, and Koronadal City. Despite the seizures, no recorded cases were filed in court, prompting the police to take a more proactive stance this year.

“We cannot allow the flagrant violation of the law to go unchecked. This year, we are committed to ensuring that legal consequences are pursued against those engaging in the illegal firecracker trade,” Aruelo asserts.

According to Aruelo, the law stipulates that individuals found guilty of selling illegal firecrackers could face imprisonment ranging from six months to one year. The lack of legal consequences for offenders in the past has spurred the police to heighten their efforts and ensure that the full force of the law is applied.

Local PNP authorities are calling on business owners to act responsibly and refrain from participating in the illegal firecracker trade. “The potential consequences of these actions extend beyond legal repercussions, as mishandling fireworks can lead to severe injuries and even fatalities,” emphasizes Aruelo.

Police Major Aruelo identified a total of 27 illegal firecrackers that are currently under scrutiny. Last year, from December 20, 2022, to January 5, 2023, there were 27 recorded firecracker-related injuries, representing a 16 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2021.

“Despite our efforts last year, the number of injuries remains alarming. This underscores the urgency of our current crackdown on illegal firecrackers,” Aruelo comments.

Based on the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit report, victims of these incidents ranged from 1 to 59 years old, with a significant majority (89 percent) being male. The cases were reported across several locations, including Banga, Polomolok, Surallah, Lake Sebu, Tupi, and Koronadal. Notably, 81 percent of the injuries occurred due to direct handling of firecrackers, while 78 percent of cases transpired within the confines of homes.

Of the reported injuries, 30 percent were eye injuries, while 63 percent resulted in burns. Two cases necessitated amputation, although fortunately, no fatalities were recorded.

As the holiday season approaches, the local police are urging the community to exercise caution and adhere to safety guidelines to prevent firecracker-related injuries.

“Public cooperation is crucial in maintaining a safe and joyous celebration for everyone,” Aruelo concludes.

 

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