Duterte eyes total firecracker ban

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A boy injured from a fireworks accident is being treated at a hospital during the New Year celebrations in Manila on Jan. 1, 2018. EPA

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is planning to issue an executive order which will totally ban the use of any kind of firecrackers in the entire country in celebrating New Year.

In a speech in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan on Thursday night, Duterte said there is still a need for a total firecracker ban despite the drop in the number of firecracker-related injuries.

“I will issue the executive order this early para warning na doon sa lahat that I am banning firecracker altogether,” Duterte said. “I will ban firecrackers. Wala na…Maski isang bata mawalan ng kamay. So as a president why would I allow it?”

Based on the monitoring done by the Department of Health from Dec. 21, 2018 and Jan. 4, 2019, 305 people sustained burn and eye injuries from the use of firecrackers, while 2 others ingested gunpowder from fireworks.

The President earlier issued Executive Order 28 regulating the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices by limiting it only to fireworks display within a designated area in the community.

Duterte also ordered the suspension of processing of new licenses and permits for the manufacture, sale and distribution of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices in October last year.

The President directed the confiscation and destruction of prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices as well as firecrackers used outside community fireworks displays.

Duterte, who has implemented a total firecracker ban in Davao City, has been discouraging Filipinos from lighting firecrackers to welcome the New Year, due to the risks these materials pose to public health./PN

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