EcoWaste urges LGUs to ban use of firecrackers

Published December 9, 2020, 4:18 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Environmental health group EcoWaste Coalition has urged local government units (LGUs) to enact and enforce ordinances banning the use of firecrackers, fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices to prevent injuries, environmental pollution, and coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in welcoming the new year.

“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,” EcoWaste chemical safety campaigner Thony Dizon said.

“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.

EcoWaste 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.

It renewed its call for a 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 caused most firecracker-related injuries during the past several years.    

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

The group cited that Republic Act 7183 regulates and controls the manufacture, sale, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices, and 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.

EcoWaste also offered reminders to the public.

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.