IN FAIRNESS, there are lesser injuries for this year’s welcoming of the year 2018. Perhaps, the government’s call to the public to minimize if not stop the use of firecrackers was effectively heeded by the people celebrating during New Year’s Eve.
The Department of Health is “somehow elated” over the comparatively low number of fire-cracker related injuries reported in medical hospitals as compared to the previous years, although the low number of injured does not mean there are no victims of firecrackers for this year-end revelry.
Earlier this year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 28 which designates community fireworks display zones and banning firecrackers in many places in the country. In addition, we saw how the government, through local government units and the Philippine National Police (PNP) effectively implemented the said law.
Many municipalities in the country have designated fireworks display zones usually in public parks and plazas while the PNP confiscated firecrackers listed under the “more explosive and more deadly kind”.
Further, I saw some PNP service vehicles roving in many places during the New Year’s Eve in their bid to help in the implementation of the said executive order. Aside from monitoring people lighting firecrackers, the PNP immensely contributed to the visibility of authorities, thus discouraging some people from lighting “deadly” ilk of fireworks.
In addition, selling firecrackers seemed to be “more regulated” now since retailers of these should secure various permits from local authorities before they can legitimately sell their stuff.
On the other hand, firecrackers business in the country was immensely affected not only because of the existence of the said executive order, but also because of retailers were adamant to do their buying for retailing because they might not sell their firecrackers to the public.
While many were spared from injuries, from expenses and from too much air pollution, fireworks industries such as those in Bocaue, Bulacan suffered from strong blows because of reported poor sales. Although they sold some “legal firecrackers”, their sales were low as compared to the previous years.
The countdown to midnight in the country needs to be noisy. However, it need not be complete through the indiscriminate use of firecrackers that sometimes result in amputations, burns, lacerations and even death of firecracker injury victims.
In other countries, New Year’s Eve merry-making is usually done through parties, loud music, blowing of horns, and other forms of celebrating sans firecrackers. It is only in the Philippines that we celebrate the welcoming of the year differently.
Since the implementation of the said executive order, people perhaps are now educated on the benefits of not having pompous use of firecrackers. Aside from saving money in not buying some fireworks, the law has somehow lessened the air, land and noise pollutions through the lesser use of firecrackers. It likewise minimized the risk of injuries of people.
Perhaps the said order should become permanent and further implemented in the coming New Year’s celebrations in the coming years ahead.
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