Since assuming the presidency in 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte has been pushing for a total ban on the use of firecrackers. A firecracker vendor in Tigbauan, Iloilo attends to his goods. Firecrackers can only be sold in designated zones set by the local government unit in coordination with the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Fire Protection. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN “Banning firecrackers is not the proper approach because that would only create a black market for these products. It is much better that they be sold out in the open but under strict regulations and taxes,” said Garbin. The Chief Executive also signed Executive Order 28 in 2017 which limits the use of firecrackers in the country./PN Ako Bicol Party-list Reps. Alfredo Garbin, Jr. and Elizaldy Co have filed House Bill 1517 which aims to amend the Presidential Decree No. 1994, wherein a tax of P30 per kilogram of fireworks is imposed. “Remember that public funds are spent whenever people are treated at government hospitals for firecracker injuries. The government should have some way to properly recover that cost and to conduct public campaigns on responsible use of firecrackers and fireworks,” added Garbin. MANILA – Instead of an outright ban on the use of firecrackers during New Year’s Eve, two lawmakers have proposed to impose a 20% excise tax on these products. Under the House measure, a 20% tax shall be levied on fireworks and firecrackers based on the manufacturer’s selling price, net of excise tax, and value added tax on such devices.