BAGUIO CITY – The city government has organized a community fireworks display to greet the New Year to discourage the use of firecrackers among the public.

City Information Office chief Aileen Refuerzo, in a phone interview on Friday, said the fireworks display and picnic at Burnham Park are among the two city-initiated activities for the holiday season.

The fireworks display will start at 9 p.m. until midnight.

She added that for several years now, the city has been conducting a fireworks display as a way to discourage households from lighting their own and prevent possible accidents aside from minimizing smoke emission in all areas of the city.

The fireworks display will have several sites and can be viewed in many villages of the city, preventing people from flocking at Burnham Park.

She also cautioned tourists coming to the city that Baguio has issued a ban on the sale and use of firecrackers.

"Bawal po. Sana huwag na silang magdala ng paputok pag pumunta dito dahil bawal po (It is not allowed. We urge them not to bring firecrackers when they come)," she said.

The city started a ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in early 2000 under an executive order which is sustained pending the passage of an ordinance. Instead, the city holds a community fireworks display.

Refuerzo also encouraged tourists to enjoy the clean, cool and tranquil Baguio in greeting the New Year.

"Masarap po na batiin ang pagdating ng bagong taon na malinis ang hangin na nilalanghap. Magpa-ingay na lang po tayo na hindi nagpapaputok marami naman ibang paraan na safe (It is nice to greet the new year while breathing clean air. We can create noise that will not expose us to danger and that includes even if we do not light a firecracker)," she said.

Aside from avoiding firecrackers, she also reminded those who will still come to the city to follow the entry protocols for tourists to avoid inconvenience.

“We have a daily limit and that is counted from the issuance of a quick response travel permit (QTP) generated when registering in the online portal for visitors. If they do not have it, they will be asked to return to their destination," she said. (PNA)