CITY OF MALOLOS – Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado encouraged the National Association of Pyrotechnics Manufacturers, dealers and other stakeholders to comply with the guidelines of the Department of Labor and Employment in production and sale during the Provincial Peace and Order Council Meeting for the 4th quarter held at the Francisco Balagtas Hall, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here, yesterday.
The call was made after receiving the work stoppage order issued by DOLE Secretary Silvestre R. Bello for all establishments engaged in the manufacture and sale of pyrotechnics and firecrackers pursuant to Rule 1012.02 of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards in relation to Article 168 of the Labor Code.
In his order, Bello cited the October 12, 2016 explosion in Brgy. Biniang 1st in Bocaue where two persons were killed and 24 others were injured and the November 23 blast at the AA Fireworks Manufacturing in Brgy. Pulong Buhangin, Sta. Maria where three persons were killed and six others injured, as the reason for the issuance of the work stoppage order that took effect last November 24, 2016 as the regional and provincial staff of DOLE began its inspection of factories and stores in Bulacan.
It is also stated that in view of the accidents and with the projected increase in production during the holidays, DOLE is inclined to declare the existence of grave and imminent danger to the health and safety of workers in workplaces involved in the production of pyrotechnics and firecrackers.
Alvarado also appealed to the Department of Science and Technology to help the local manufacturers to make the production and sale of fireworks and pyrotechnics safe and at par with global standards.
“Pagtulungan nating gawan ng paraang maiangat ang industriya, mapaganda lalo ang quality, kung sila’y napa-patronize, kung walang unfair competition with smuggled products from abroad na imported nga at magandang klase ‘di naman nagbabayad ng buwis mas mura kaysa sa locally manufactured, mamamatay ang ating industriya,” the governor said.
At the same time, Alvarado instructed the Bulacan Police Provincial Office to intensify their crackdown on clandestine shops particularly those making killer types of firecrackers.
Lawyer Ana Dione, DOLE Regional Director in Central Luzon, told the governor and stakeholders of the fireworks industry in Bulacan, that the work stoppage order will be lifted immediately when the manufacturers and dealers have complied with the following guidelines: secure certificates from the Philippine National Police; certificate from the Bureau of Fire Protection; one day safety training.
Dione said that their inspection of factories and stores will begin on Tuesday in Bulacan.
Meanwhile, Engr. Celso C. Cruz, chairman emeritus of the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc. (PPMDAI) said that the fireworks industry has been losing income since the work stoppage order was issued. However, he said that they will help DOLE in making their members comply with the DOLE guidelines hoping that the WSO will be lifted very soon.