In his recent address to the nation, President Duterte announced that he will order the total ban on the use and sale of firecrackers during the holiday season starting next year.
But the Metro Manila mayors decided to impose the ban this coming New Year. Through Resolution No. 19, Metro Manila mayors ordered the prohibition of the sale and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnics in the National Capital Region.
We totally support this move. While we commiserate with the thousands of workers in the fireworks industry in Bulacan and elsewhere in the country who will lose their main livelihood, we must also take into account the danger to life and limb caused by the indiscriminate use of firecrackers.
Data from the Philippine National Police show a decline in the number of firecracker-related incidents during the past three years: 307 in 2019, 449 in 2018, and only 65 in 2017. While this is good news, it would be best if we have a zero firecracker-related incident. And hopefully this could be realized this year.
Actually, it was the Chinese who introduced firecrackers in the country. In the Chinese tradition, to explode firecrackers would drive evil spirits away and usher in good fortune in the coming year. The Chinese, we must remember, have also invented the dynamite.
The ban on firecrackers now in Metro Manila and next year throughout the country would certainly affect the livelihood of the thousands in the pyrotechnic industry in Bulacan and other provinces.
This is a big blow to them especially since they have also been hit by the pandemic. But we are confident that the government would find ways to provide them with alternative means of earning a living.
If the police can fully implement the firecracker ban in the metropolitan area, it would be a “silent” New Year for all of us. Indeed, New Year 2021 would become unique in our history.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers and supporters!