DAGUPAN CITY (PIA) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) visited firecracker shops in the Ilocos region to reiterate its call on occupational safety and health (OSH) as firecracker buyers and vendors are expected to converge in shops in preparation for the New Year celebration.
DOLE Ilocos regional director Exequiel Ronie Guzman has directed the agency’s field offices to conduct inspections in firecracker shops and establishments to underscore OSH to ensure safety not only of the shop owners and vendors, but also consumers and buyers.
As of December 29, five establishments have been visited in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur; 32 in Dagupan City, Pangasinan; and eight in Mangaldan, Pangasinan.
Under Rule 1140 of the Philippine Occupational Safety and Health Standards, explosives shall be manufactured, handled or stored only in approved places.
During their visits, DOLE personnel underscored the following basic safety reminders:
· Display “No Smoking” and “No Testing” signs;
· Keep electrical sockets and appliances away from the firecrackers;
· Ensure clear/unobstructed ingress and egress;
· Encourage installation and maintenance of fire extinguishers in the event of fire;
· Remind customers of safety precautions in using firecrackers;
· Post hotlines of first responders in conspicuous areas in the establishment; and
· Maintain safe distance between stalls.
DOLE also reinforced its ties with safety partners such as the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and Department of Health (DOH) to ensure full compliance of establishments to OSH.
Earlier, the DOH reiterated to the public the use of alternative noisemakers to welcome the new year safely.
DOH Ilocos regional director Dr. Paula Paz Sydiongco said, “Mahalaga na tayo ay ligtas sa pagsalubong ng bagong taon kaya kailangang iwasan natin ang bumili at pagsisindi ng mga ipinagbabawal na paputok upang nakaiwas tayo sa anumang disgrasya na maaring idulot nito. Masayang salo-salu kasama ang ating mga pamilya pa rin ang pinakamasayang pagsalubong sa darating na bagong taon.”
“Kung gusto talaga nating mag-ingay sa New Year, marami naman tayong magagamit at magagawa tulad ng pagbubusina, pagpapatugtog ng malakas at ang iba naman ay nagtatanggal ng tambutso ng kanilang motor upang makagawa ng ingay. Filipinos are known to be naturally creative and innovative kaya marami talagang magagamit at huwag ng bumili pa ng illegal na paputok. Isa pa, we can save a lot of money by not spending in any kind of firecrackers or fireworks,” she emphasized. (JCR/AMB/PIA Pangasinan)