The Department of Labor and Employment yesterday lifted the work stoppage order on another group of firecracker establishments following their compliance with occupational safety and health standards.

Allowed to resume operations were 331 establishments in Region 7 and Negros Island region.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III earlier lifted the work stoppage order on 493 other establishments in Luzon and the Visayas bringing the total number of compliant establishments to 824.

“Our conditions are simple. Comply with the general labor standards then you can go back to normal business operations. Our Regional Offices have been conducting thorough assessment and these establishments have shown compliance with pertinent labor laws and regulations,” Bello said.

Bello also pointed out that 153 of these establishments are in Bulacan, which is known as the fireworks capital of the Philippines.

“Despite calls for firecrackers ban, we don’t want to kill the industry. As long as they comply with major labor and occupational safety and health standards, the labor department will always let them operate,” Bello added.

He also noted that these establishments were issued with Philippine National Police (PNP) clearance, Fire Safety Inspection certificate from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and Certificate of Attendance of Workers to the Safety Awareness Training conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC).

In early this month, the labor department issued work stoppage orders on all establishments engaged in the manufacture and sale of pyrotechnics and firecrackers nationwide, following the recent explosions in fireworks and pyrotechnic shops in Bulacan that killed five people and injured 30 others.

### AbegailDeVega

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