Solon urges customs to tighten watch vs smuggled firecrackers

ZAMBALES Rep. Mitos Magsaysay asked Customs officials and local authorities to be on the lookout for smuggled pyrotechnics and firecrackers that may be harmful to the health and safety of consumers especially since New Years Day Eve is just around the corner.

“These smuggled goods, have not passed safety standards set by the Philippine government and are therefore threats to the health of children and adults alike,” she said.

Magsaysay said that even if it is only a week before the new year, Customs officials should not discount the possibility that there may still be some unscrupulous traders who would try to sneak in these goods in the local market and sell them at low prices to attract customers looking for a good deal.

“These products are dangerous as they may go off and cause serious injury to consumers, and have in previous years caused fires in households. Consumers should be wary of these substandard products. They may want to welcome the new year with a bang but this may actually cause the opposite.”

Magsaysay said that Customs officials should coordinate their efforts with other agencies to widen the net for illegally imported goods being sold in the market as these may be sold together with legally procured products.

“Sneaking in substandard fireworks has been like a cat and mouse game between smugglers and the Bureau of Customs. I ask Customs authorities not to let down their guard and lower their defenses against these smugglers who care nothing for the welfare of consumers but only concern themselves with earning a quick buck no matter what the cost.”

DoH figures have pegged firecracker related injuries to already 44 as of December 24, which is one incident more than the record for 43 for the year 2011.

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