BAGUIO CITY – Health authorities challenged local officials in the region to have the political will to impose a needed total ban on the selling and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials for the celebration of the Yuletide revelry.
Dr. Amelita M. Pangilinan, assistant regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR), said many Filipinos were already injured or have lost their lives because of the unregulated use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials during the holiday celebrations over the past several decades, thus the need for everyone to start using alternative ways of welcoming the new year to ensure especially the safety of the children.
“We need to already embrace alternative ways of celebrating the coming of a new year. We continue to embark on scare tactics aside from encouraging community participation to the efforts of government to abandon the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials for the Yuletide revelry,” Pangilinan stressed.
The DOH-CAR official admitted no local government in the region was able to pass the appropriate local legislation to impose the total ban although there is a pending proposal in the Baguio City Council to impose one.
According to her, the executive order supposed to be issued by President Rodrigo R. Duterte for the prohibition was not released on time because of the need to conduct consultations with the affected stakeholders before the crafting of the final provisions which will be fully implemented probably by next year.
Pangilinan claimed concerned government agencies have already tried all possible strategies to help convince people to shy away from firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials for their New Year celebration to prevent life-threatening injuries or eventual loss of lives.
She expressed gratitude to City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan and Tuba Mayor Ignacio Rivera for their public pronouncements against allowing firecracker and pyrotechnic vendors to pursue their lucrative trade which is a giant step towards preventing their constituents from suffering injuries and compromising their bright future.
She emphasized the urgent need for local officials to make as their primordial consideration the safety of their constituents, especially the children, who are frequently exposed to extreme danger with the unregulated selling and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials to celebrate the Yuletide season, thus, the elective officials must be the ones to lead in convincing them to embrace alternative ways of celebration of the coming New Year, to drive away the bad spirits and usher in the coming of a fruitful and prosperous new year./By Dexter A. See