Press Release
January 4, 2015

Nancy seeks immediate passage of law
making selling firecrackers to minors illegal

With at least 155 children reported injured including a 5-year old boy who lost his hand from firecrackers during the New Year celebrations, Senator Nancy Binay wanted the immediate passage of a proposed law making it illegal to sell or even give any type of firework or firecrackers to children 15 years and below.

In this year's New Year revelry, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 354 people injured from firecrackers and left an 11-year old girl dead from indiscriminate gunfire in Abra province.

Senate Bill No. 225 seeks to "reduce the number of accidents and injuries due to firecrackers, majority of which are sustained by children, by prohibiting the selling, giving, or in any way sharing of firecrackers."

The fire that hit a village in Quezon City on New Year's day that left 4,000 families homeless is believed to have been ignited by childrens' firecrackers, and there were one of more than a dozen blazes reported across the country as Filipinos welcomed the New Year.

"While we have banned certain firecrackers such as piccolo or watusi, I think it's high time to make the law even tighter by making it illegal to sell, give or in any way share any type of firework or firecrackers to children 15 years of age and below," Binay added.

Of the 354 reported injuries, at least 155 children aged 10 years old and below have been injured in the merrymaking welcoming the New Year.

The death of the girl from Abra is separate from the 14 stray bullet injuries recorded by the Philippine National Police (PNP) from December 16 to January 1.

"Nakakalungkot po na taon-taon ay laging may mga batang nasasaktan sa mga paputok, either dahil nagpaputok sila o napuputukan ng mga firecrackers na itinapon ng ibang tao," she noted.

At least 23 types of firecrackers have been banned in the country, including piccolo, watusi, pla-pla, big bawang and five star.

A total of 593 cases of fireworks-related injuries have been reported by the health department as of January 2. Most of the cases were reported in Metro Manila.

According to the department, illegal fireworks were the cause of 317 cases of injury, with the banned piccolo causing the most number of injury at 223 cases.

SB 225 carries with it a penalty of a prison term of a minimum of six months and one day to a maximum of six years or a fine not less than P50,000.00 but not exceeding P250,000.00, or both, at the discretion of the Court.

SB 225, which was filed in July 2013, is one of three bills which seek to regulate the use of fireworks and firecrackers in the country. Binay, however, noted that all are still pending in the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs.

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