MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he would let local government officials to decide on the ban on firecrackers in their respective areas.
Speaking to reporters, the President said he has no intention to make the manufacture of firecrackers illegal.
"It would really depend on the local government concerned, kasi hindi puwedeng ano, I mean, the firecracker itself is not illegal per se. Just because you are holding a firecracker doesn't mean that you are guilty of a crime," Duterte said.
Duterte, however, said he wants to regulate the sale of firecrackers so as to protect people, especially children, from harm.
"But if I can utilize a national law to stop the selling... Ang gusto ko kasi, wala nang putukan para wala nang maputulan ng ulo, wala nang mabulag. I'm more concerned, not in the stopping of the manufacture of (firecrackers), pero 'yung madisgrasya na mga bata," he explained.
"A lot of children, every year, would lose eyesight, two fingers blown away, 'yang mga ganun, sunog," he added.
Duterte's Executive Order (EO), issued in early 2017, limited the use of firecrackers to designated areas. It attempted to replicate on a national scale the firecracker ban he implemented in Davao City during his term as mayor.
The EO confined the use of firecrackers to “community fireworks display.”