Pyrotechnic Industry in the Philippines
The pyrotechnics industry in the Philippines traces its roots during the Spanish era when Valentin Sta. Ana (1867-1932) of Barangay Balasing, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, started fireworks-making for Fiesta celebrations and public festivities.
In 1930, his eldest son, Fernando, established a fireworks factory in Angat, while another son, Mariano, opted to bring the family business in
Bocaue in 1934 under the trade name Sta. Ana Fireworks. The potential of the business was later tapped by other entrepreneurs during the 1950s and the 1960s
employing the pyrotechnicians of the Sta. Ana’s. Notable fireworks factories at the time besides Sta. Ana are National, Universal, Superior, Champion, and International Fireworks.
Others manufacturers moved to the provinces of Rizal and Cavite to cater to clients from the south, but at that time Bocaue has already established its name as the center of fireworks manufacturing. Accidental explosion are few but with plenty of casualties and excessive damage to property.
The advent of Martial Law (1972-1986) led to the eventual banning of the manufacture and sale of firecrackers, the Marcos regime saw the need to control explosives and ingredients which might be used by the growing insurgents.
Since traditions are stronger than the laws, market demand forced many former factory workers to manufacture their own firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices and with the connivance of some corrupt local officials and law enforcers, the firecracker makers ballooned to more than 800 micro enterprises.
The manufacturers worked inside their houses and backyards to prevent detection thereby exposing the members of the family to hazards of explosion.
Accidents and explosion continued to increase with no less than one explosion every week during the peak season of production, September to December. The
problems the industry is encountering lead to the formation of a non-registered organization, Bulacan Pyro-business association headed by ( Ret.) PC/Col.
Avelino Mendoza who served as conduit for concerned government agencies and lobbied for the legalization of the industry.
People Power Revolution of 1986 and the assumption of President Corazon Aquino gave a new hope to the campaign for legalization and resulted in the enactment of
RA7183 (Firecrackers Law), Jan.30,1992, through the sponsorship of Congressman Vicente Rivera Jr. of Bulacan.
Recognizing the need to unite in order to effectively face industry-wide issues, the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc. (PPMDAI) was born on Jan. 18, 1993 and is currently headed by Mrs. Vimie Erese.