Envi group urges LGUs to ban firecrackers, pyrotechnic devices

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DAVAO CITY — In a bid to prevent accidental injuries, environmental pollution and COVID-19 transmission during the New Year revelry, the EcoWaste Coalition today urged local government units (LGUs) to enact and enforce ordinances banning the use of firecrackers, fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices.

“With the safety of their constituents and the environment in mind, we urge our city and municipal officials to quickly enact ordinances that will prohibit the use of firecrackers, fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices in celebrating the New Year,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“The adoption and implementation of such ordinances, we believe, will prevent a repeat of the bloody and dirty tradition of heralding the New Year with explosives and noxious fumes,” he added.

It is high time for the nation to put a stop to the gory headlines of children burning their skins, losing their fingers and having parts of their bodies amputated due to firecracker injuries, the EcoWaste Coalition emphasized. 

“Also, the ban on firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices that provide a few minutes of merriment with toxic consequences for humans, animals and the environment will discourage people from social crowding and avoid COVID-19 from further spreading,” he pointed out.

The group warned that staging firework displays or lighting firecrackers will make physical distancing, a basic precaution against COVID-19, extremely difficult to enforce, especially on New Year’s Eve.

The EcoWaste Coalition renewed its push for total ban on firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices after monitoring the unlawful sale of “made in Bulacan”  piccolo (P45 per box of 20 pieces) and “made in China” trompito luminoso de fuego (P10 per box of 10 pieces) in some retail stores.

“These cheap but very dangerous scratch-banger firecrackers have started resurfacing in some sari-sari stores in Metro Manila,” said Dizon who noted  that piccolo is responsible for most firecracker-related injuries during the past several years.    

To protect children from blast or burn injuries, the EcoWaste Coalition appealed to all barangay chairpersons to lead random inspections to rid their places  of piccolo and other banned firecrackers.

Republic Act 7183, which regulate and controls the manufacture, sale, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices, penalizes violators with a fine of not less than P20,000 but not more than P30,000, or imprisonment from six months to one year, or both such fine and jail term.

For a cleaner, safer and COVID-free celebration of the New Year, the EcoWaste Coalition also urged the public to observe the following reminders:

1.  Only use quality-assured Christmas lights with valid ICC stickers.

2.  Go for alternative noisemakers in lieu of firecrackers and fireworks.
3.  Remind children not to pick up dud firecrackers and sparklers.

4.  Don’t fire guns.

5.  Shun customized PVC boga guns or cannons.
6.  Don’t release balloons and sky lanterns.

7.  Never burn used tires.

8.  Don’t burn trash.

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