Health News

STOP using firecrackers for health and environment’s sake – PH EcoWaste Coalition

Iwas paputok Photo ©
Iwas paputok Photo ©

IN a bid to make the New Year’s celebration health and environment friendly, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the public to heed the government’s call to avoid using firecrackers during New Year’s eve.

“To stop the tragic injuries and deaths, the destructive fires, hazardous pollution and, not to be forgotten, the acoustic torture against animals, we strongly urge the general public to welcome 2017 in a safe and environment-friendly way without firecrackers. Now is the time to break the senseless “tradition” of greeting the New Year with bloody mayhem, ear-splitting noise, smoke-filled sky, littered streets and fires caused by firecrackers.  Now is the time for every Filipino to assert our right to breathe clean air and to live in a healthy environment as guaranteed by the Constitution and the country’s laws.   Now is the time for us to claim our right not to be exposed to toxic pollutants and wastes from firecrackers,” the coalition, a public health and environment watchdog, said in a statement.

To prevent and reduce the impact of firecracker-related injuries, fires and emissions, the EcoWaste Coalition appeals to the public to heed the following:

1. Appeal to Adults and Animal and Nature Lovers:  Lead by example by not buying and exploding firecrackers, which are harmful to human, animal and ecological health.  Ang ginanagawa ng matatanda, gagayahin rin ng mga bata.

2. Appeal to Children:  Firecrackers are not toys; please don’t play with firecrackers. 
Ang mga paputok ay hindi laruan.  Ang pagpapaputok ay labis na delikado.  Huwag magpaputok upang malayo sa siguradong peligro.

3. Appeal to Traders and Vendors:  Never sell firecrackers to kids. Engaging in such illegal activity that can injure or even kill innocent children is not good business.  Have  a conscience please; don’t rake in profits at the expense of children’s health and safety and environmental integrity. 
Hindi magandang negosyo ang pagtitinda ng mga paputok na posibleng magdulot ng matinding pinsala sa katawan o pagkamatay,  laluna sa mga bata.

4. Appeal to Local Community Leaders and Law Enforcers:  Save lives! Be the first to take strong action against peddlers of piccolo and other firecrackers.  Keep your barangay firecracker-free. 
Maging mapagbantay sa bentahan ng mga iligal na paputok at umaksyon agad-agad.

In lieu of firecrackers and fireworks, the EcoWaste Coalition encouraged the public to opt for alternative noisemakers that can be made out of common household materials and recyclable junks.  For example: a)  shakers made from used product containers such as tin cans, plastic containers and boxes filled with coins, pebbles or seeds; b) tambourine fashioned out of tansan (flattened bottle crowns); and c) pots and pot lids as improvised drums and cymbals.

Finally, the EcoWaste Coalition urges households, business establishments and big corporations to divert funds earmarked for firecrackers and fireworks to worthy charities and causes instead. Don’t burn away your money, give it to charity!

The EcoWaste Coalition actively supports the yearly Iwas Paputok drive of the Department of Health (DOH) since 2006.


Nelson Flores, J.D., MSCK
A former reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Standard Today, and a regular columnist of the Metro Manila based daily tabloid newspaper Hataw; Nelson Flores is also the former Senior Associate Editor of the Houston based Fil-Am Press and former anchor of dzXL and dzRJ's weekend talk show Usaping Bayan. Mr. Flores has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Law degrees from the University of Santo Tomas and Adamson University and a holder of a study certificate from the Diocesan House of Studies, Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI). He is a Freemason and member of Reagan Lodge 1037 in Houston Heights under the jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas and a member of the Missionary Society of Christ the King (MSCK).

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