30 December 2012
President Benigno S. Aquino III held a briefing with officials of the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) on the safety measures being done by the government as the nation prepares to greet 2013.
Present during the briefing were Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras, PCOO Secretary Sonny Coloma, PCDSPO Secretary Ricky Carandang, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, DILG Undersecretary Rafael Santos, DILG Assistant Secretary Rolando Acosta, PNP Director General Alan Purisima, Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, Police Director Lina Sarmiento, Health Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa, Health Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag, BFP Officer-in-Charge Ruben Bearis and BFP Chief Inspector Renato Marcial.
The meeting covered the different campaigns and actions being implemented to keep the celebrations peaceful and safe, especially to children who are often victims of firecracker-related injuries during the festivities.
President Aquino talked on the cancellation of license and closing of shops if fireworks manufacturers and retailers are found selling banned items like the Piccolo, Goodbye Philippines, Lolo Thunder, Mother Rockets, Big Bawang, Pla-Pla etc.
He also urged the said agencies to raise active community involvement or public cooperation in their campaigns during this period.
The PNP, for example, has done its muzzle taping of service firearms in all its units nationwide to refrain from gun firing during the New Year celebration. According to them, they have conducted inspection of establishments throughout the country selling firecrackers/pyrotechnics devices and have confiscated P11.9 million worth of banned firecrackers.