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DoLE prepares for firecrackers ban

As President Duterte’s proposal to ban the use of firecrackers nationwide gains support in Congress, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said it is now preparing possible assistance for workers, who may be displaced if the new policy pushes through.

In an interview, Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod disclosed they are now looking at the impact of the proposal to the employment of workers in the firecrackers industry.

“If it will have an effect (to their employment), we have to assess what intervention we could provide for those who will be displaced,” Maglunsod said.

He noted among the possible intervention they may extend to the affected workers include retraining or providing them with alternative livelihood through their nego-kart program, wherein beneficiaries are given small grants to start their small business.

“Those who will need new livelihood could be retrained as tricycle (drivers) or carpenters. We could also provide them with nego-karts,” Maglunsod said.

Duterte earlier announced he is mulling of nationalizing the strict firecrackers ban, which he implemented in Davao City while he was still its mayor, to prevent the annual increase in the number of people, who were injured by its use.

However, he said he would first consult his Cabinet before deciding on the matter because of its possible economic and social impact.

In support of Duterte’s plan, Quezon City Rep. Winnie Castelo recently filed House Bill 1626, which will ban the production and selling of unsafe firecrackers nationwide. (SAMUEL P. MEDENILLA)

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