MAYOR GORDON ON FIRECRAKER BAN
“The use of firecrackers may not only be harmful to human life but are also hazardous to private and public properties. In December 2005, the vicinity of Olongapo City Public Market was in flames due to a firecracker incident. Fortunately, the Disaster Management Office responded quickly and put out the fire swiftly. Although the city has dependable disaster management response team from firefighters, rescuers to medical aides, we are not taking chances with firecrackers. Still, prevention, is better than cure. Hence, the total ban on pyrotechnics in the city stays and this ban will be more stringently observed on the upcoming festive season especially on New Year’s Eve,” said Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. referring to City Ordinance no. 63, series of 2008.
According to the said ordinance, a total ban on the manufacture, sale, distribution, possession and use of firecrackers or pyrotechnic devices within the territorial jurisdiction of Olongapo City is in effect the whole year round to promote public safety, peace, and security.
“We have proven the effectiveness of prohibiting firecrackers in the city. Last year, Olongapo registered a zero casualty record during the Christmas season and New Year’s celebrations. The lone patient at the JLGMH was a foreigner who lost his eye in a “baby kwitis” incident at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone which has not yet banned firecrackers,” Mayor Gordon explained.
Violation of Ordinance No. 63 will be penalized as follows:
1. For the first offense, a fine of One Thousand Pesos (PhP1,000.00) or imprisonment of not more than One (1) month but no less than twenty (20) days, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the Court. In addition thereto, the concerned business establishment’s business permit shall be suspended and it shall be ordered to be closed by the City Government for a period not less than three (3) months but not more than six (6) months;
2. For the second offense, a fine of Three Thousand Pesos (PhP3,000.00) or imprisonment of not more than Three (3) months but not less than One (1) month, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court. In addition thereto, the concerned business establishment’s business permit shall be suspended and it shall be ordered to be closed by the City Government for a period not less than six (6) months and one (1) day but not more than twelve (12) months; and,
3. For the Third offense, a fine of Five Thousand Pesos (Php 5,000.00) or imprisonment of not more than Six (6) months but not less than Three (3) months, or fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the Court. In addition thereto, the concerned business establishment’s business permit shall be immediately revoked by the City Government and it shall be ordered permanently closed.
If the violation is committed by a business establishment, the President/General Manager or other person, acting in behalf of either the President or General Manager shall be held liable in the case of a corporation or partnership, or the owner or proprietor or the person acting in his behalf shall be held responsible in the case of a single proprietorship.
“Here in Olongapo we value human life as much as we give importance to traditions and festivities. Always keep in mind that a minute of delight derived from firecrackers may cause you a lifetime of sorrow,” Mayor Gordon advised.