AN environment and public health watchdog calls for the total ban of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices saying that it is hazardous not only to human and animal health but the environment as well.
EcoWaste Coalition National Coordinator Aileen Lucero issued the call following Wednesday’s deadly blast in a firecracker store in Bocaue, Bulacan where two persons were killed.
“We appeal to the government to turn the citywide Davao City ban on firecrackers and fireworks into a nationwide regulation that will safeguard human health and the environment from hazardous emissions and wastes, and protect the animals, too” Lucero said.
The coalition expressed hope that the Executive Order (EO) being drafted, as announced by health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, would totally ban and made illegal the manufacture, distribution and sale of firecrackers for individual and household use. The much-anticipated EO could contribute a great deal to turning our New Year festivities into a zero injury, zero emission and zero waste occasion.
“It’s high time that the rule of law, particularly the enforcement of our environmental and animal welfare laws, prevail in our customary welcome of the New Year. It’s time to discard the dirty, dangerous and deadly New Year rites,” she added.
The large-scale explosion of legal and illegal pyrotechnics to usher in New Year is against the state policy of protecting human health and the environment, the coalition pointed out.
Among the laws that are blatantly disregarded during the New Years’ celebrations include the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, as well as the Animal Welfare Act, it added.
Lucero, at the same time, also calls for tougher penalties for those who would sell firecrackers to minors.
“As most of the victims of firecracker-related injuries are young children, we also hope that the EO would impose tough penalties to vendors selling firecrackers to minors,” Lucero said.
The coalition has been conducting its “Iwas Paputoxic” drive since 2003, complementing the government’s annual campaign against firecrackers. It warns that more people would perish and suffer this year if the “outdated” habit of igniting firecrackers and fireworks continue unabated.