Uniformed personnel manning the Cordillera borders against unauthorized travels as a Covid-19 transmission precaution are now also on the lookout for the entry of illegal firecrackers, pyrotechnics, and firearms as part of the region’s Oplan Iwas Paputok campaign this season.
Border checkpoints now have double purpose to ensure no illegal firecrackers are transported and used for Christmas and New Year within the region, said Lt./Col. Sibly Dawiguey Jr., Police Regional Office-Cordillera Regional Operations Management Division assistant chief.
“The police will implement the same strictness in border control for Covid-19 in checking the entry of illegal firecrackers as mandated in Republic Act 7183. We will be very strict,” Dawiguey said.
RA 7183 regulates the sale, manufacture, distribution, and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.
Dawiguey said PRO-Cor is issuing a memorandum to all provincial and city police offices in the region to implement the operation plan.
Special action teams in the line units will also be organized to prevent the proliferation of prohibited and illegally manufactured firecrackers and pyrotechnics and take legal actions against those who will indiscriminately fire or illegally discharge their firearms during the holidays.
Dawiguey said their projection is there will be a continuous downtrend in the use of firecrackers due to restricted conditions brought about by the pandemic.
Last year, the Department of Health-Cordillera has recorded 19 firecracker-related injuries, with Ifugao and Apayao recording zero injuries; and there were no victims of stray bullets due to indiscriminate firing of gun.
“Kung last year konti ang cases, this year, with our existing conditions, the number could definitely go down further. Sana maging zero in all the provinces of the Cordillera,” Dawiguey said.
He said the police is undertaking safety and security measures and implement the law to prevent or minimize injuries and deaths caused by unsafe handling of firecrackers and pyrotechnics and illegal discharge of firearms.
They will also assist the Department of the Interior and Local Government and local government units in designating and establishing firecrackers and pyrotechnic zones. – Hanna C. Lacsamana