Safety is Gov. Willy’s Utmost Concern

AS Yuletide season sets in, the provincial government of Bulacan is at it again. And no less than Gov. Wilhelmino “Willy” Sy-Alvarado who’s hell-bent in keeping his turf specifically those areas where pyrotechnics are being manufactured safe with no lives and properties getting sacrificed as what occurred in previous years.

This as he urges the legitimate makers of fireworks in the province to produce safe, good-quality products  and strictly follow safety measures and guidelines to prevent fatal accidents and improve the lucrative but still dangerous local pyrotechnics industry.

Instructing the Provincial Police Office headed by its director Sr. Supt. Fernando Villanueva to conduct regular and massive inspections on factories and stores to make sure they follow the existing regulations to the letter, Sy-Alvarado, a former member of the House of Representatives, wants illegal manufacturers arrested and properly charged in court.

And those hard-headed who must be caught are those engaged in making banned and killer types of firecrackers and those that employ minors.

“Many people are also dependent on the local fireworks industry, which is one of the major industries identifiable with Bulacan. I believe our local manufacturers can produce safe and good quality fireworks like those being presented in aerial fireworks displays,” he says.

It’s just a matter of proper management and discipline,” he adds as he takes pride of the province that is now being considered as the “hub” of the local pyrotechnics industry.

Just the same, Sy-Alvarado is more concerned on the safety of those employed in the industry and the public as well as he noted that most explosions have occurred in makeshift shops and clandestine factories, some of which are even located along populated areas.

The Bulacan governor, as a result, wants Villanueva to focus in the towns of San Rafael, Sta. Maria, Bocaue, San Ildefonso, Baliuag and Angat where factories of big pyrotechnics companies like Dragon Fireworks and smaller shops, legitimate and illegal, can be found.

In the past years, powerful and deadly explosions have levelled shops and stores that also resulted in deaths and injury of scores of people. Early this month, a 54-year-old woman died while eight other workers were hurt after a powerful explosion rocked a clandestine fireworks factory in a remote Marungko village in Angat.

The Great Tandem to Beat

A group of hard-working but disgruntled barangay chairmen in Caloocan City has banded together to form a team that will contest the current leadership in the scheduled ‘Liga ng mga Barangay’ elections come Dec. 7.

The group picks Grace Park Barangay(68) chairman Jerrboy Mauricio, nephew of my long-time friend Orlan, and UE-Sangandaan Barangay(80)  chairwoman Onet Henson, the daughter of ex-Rep. Nene Asistio-Henson  as their bets for  Liga’s top posts, president and vice president, as majority of the newly-elected and re-elected chairmen will support the cause they are fighting for.

The group wants Interior and Local Government Sec. Jesse Robredo to help them get the barangay funds or Real Property Tax Share (RPTS) of each of the 188 barangays in the city regardless of their political beliefs and affiliation. “All we want is the mandatory share of  each barangay from the real property tax collections according to the Local Government Code as provided under Republic Act. 7160, which is equivalent to 30 percent of the RPTS,” the tandem says.

I personally knew Jerrboy and Onet who are both talented and determined in their cause even at their young age and I’m pretty confident they’ll be sure assets of the city and they deserve to aim for higher elective posts in the future. Good luck! Arlie Calalo

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