Firecrackers in Cebu City: How is business going so far in SRP?

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | December 23,2023 - 10:00 AM

Firecrackers in Cebu City: How is business going so far in SRP?

Various kinds of firecrackers are displayed near the bay walk at the South Road Properties. Vendors here said that their business operations run from December 16 to 31, 2023. | CDN FILE PHOTO/Dave Cuizon

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A firecracker is defined as a device that is filled with an explosive substance which would produce noise when it explodes.

According to Executive Order No. 28, series of 2017, using firecrackers has been part of the Filipino tradition when celebrating special events may it be personal, religious, cultural, and of national importance.

READ: Buying fireworks for holiday celebrations? Be cautious, says DTI

Designated display of fireworks

As part of observing safety measures, Dr. Eugenia Mercedes Cañal, regional epidemiologist of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of the Department of Health in Central Visayas, encouraged the local government units (LGUs) to put up designated displays of fireworks.

In Cebu City, the firecracker zone is located in the South Road Properties (SRP) near the baywalk.

In an interview with two firecracker vendors Jocelyn Ruiz, 49, and Roberto Sisa, 60, they said that placing their business in the SRP was a great move for the safety of their customers.

The firecracker zone in the SRP has 16 stalls and is open from December 16 to 31, 2023.

Ruiz and Sisa said that they started selling their items in the SRP around 2018.

Previously, they were situated near SM Seaside which is also in the SRP, but later, they were transferred to a more open area near Il Corso.

READ: Gov’t urged to reconsider planned total ban on firecrackers

‘Pabor sa SRP’

Both of them agreed that their location near Il Corso is way better than in the previous one because their customers could park their cars.

“Adto dapit sa SM, trapik man kaayo, dili kaayo sila makapalit. Nindot man diri kay daghan og parkinganan,” Ruiz said.

(There near SM, that area is prone to traffic, the customers would not really buy. Here it is better because there are many parking areas.)

“Nindot diri kay safety. Duol ra sa dagat, safety nga gibutang mi ni mayor (Mayor Michael Rama) kay wa mi gibutang sa kilid-kilid. Ganahan mi nga safety sad amoang [pwesto] kay pabuto baya ni among gibaligya,” she added.

(It is better here because of the safety. It is near the sea, the area that mayor (Michael Rama) placed us is safe because we were not placed in the side of the sea. We like it here because our area is safe because what we are selling are firecrackers.)

Smoking and testing the firecrackers here are also not allowed.

READ: PNP begins the inspection of firecracker stores nationwide

Safe to sell firecrackers at SRP

And even if the location is a little bit far from the city, their customers would eventually visit their stores.

“Layo-layo gyud diri [pero] mungari gyud ang mga tawo. Mopalit gyud,” she added.

(This area is quite far but the customers will really visit here. They will really buy.)

To Sisa, he said that he also liked their location in the SRP in favor of their customers from southern Cebu.

“Kasagaran man gud sa among mga customers, taga south man nga province,” he said.

(Most of our customers are from the south of the province.)

He is also in favor of the city government placing them in their location for the public safety.

The top items that their customers buy are the Judas’ belt, fireworks, fountain, and kwitis.

For those who are buying firecrackers for Christmas, most of their customers buy them on December 23 and 24. Meanwhile, for New Year, they get more customers starting December 30 until 31.

READ: Fire officers urge public to dump firecrackers, use alternative noise-making means instead

Price increase on items

The vendors also noted the increase of prices of their items.

For example, the Judas’ belt used to be P250 per 1,000 rounds but now it is P500-P600. Meanwhile, the fountain used to be P50-P80 each but now it is P120-P150, and kwitis from P3 before to P5 each now.

As for the fireworks, the 25 shots cost P2,000-P2,800 but before it was P1,200.

Although Ruiz and Sisa could not tell the reason for the price increase, they believed that it was due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic where gatherings and going outside were prohibited, as well as the impact of the Typhoon Odette.

Because of these happenings, they get to buy the items at a higher price, consequently selling them with an increase in their prices too.

READ: Danao city gov’t sets up rules for sale, distribution, use of firecrackers

Permit and selling in December

They also sell firecrackers every December only and not during any other days because they also need to secure a permit from the city government to operate in the SRP for P4,000. Fortunately, they do not pay rent for their space here.

Sisa added that they were grateful for the permit that the city government granted them so they could operate their business properly, unlike before when he was selling in around 2008 where he was selling along the streets in Banawa Barangay Guadalupe without proper seminars in safety selling of firecrackers.

After December, they would store their items in their warehouses for safety.

When asked what could be the reason why Filipino tend to use firecrackers during New Year, Ruiz and Sisa said that it would be because it became part of the Filipino tradition.

ALSO READ: Zamboanga lifts 10-year ban on firecracker use

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TAGS: Christmas, firecrackers, New Year, SRP

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