Despite the soaring prices of basic commodities due to inflation, there were still Filipinos who purchased firecrackers and lit them to celebrate Christmas.
Fun-loving Filipinos have the right to buy their favorite firecracker brands regardless of whether they have money to burn or not.
Expect that the firecrackers will be louder during the New Year celebration.
If inflation is a bad spirit, perhaps using firecrackers can expel it by the noise of Judas’ Belt, a type of firecracker that produces multiple explosions.
However, inflation is not a bad spirit lurking in one’s place. It is real.
The prices of basic commodities will likely continue to rise after the holiday season celebrations.
Also, more firecracker-related injuries could be expected after the New Year.
The Department of Health (DOH) reported a total of 25 firecracker- and fireworks-related injuries as of 6 a.m. of Dec. 27, 2022. According to the DOH Fireworks-Related Injury Surveillance 2022 report, the 25 cases is 14 percent higher than the 2021 cases which was only 22.
In 2017, then President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) 28, which provides guidelines for “the regulation and control of the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.”
Duterte’s EO 28 bans individuals from using firecrackers or setting up their own fireworks displays, a cultural tradition Filipinos are accustomed to during “events of personal, religious, cultural and national importance,” like Christmas, the New Year and even the Chinese New Year.
“To minimize the risk of injuries and casualties, the use of firecrackers shall henceforth be confined to community fireworks displays,” read a portion of EO 28.
The EO further states that a display of fireworks qualifies as a community fireworks display if it complies with all of the following conditions: (1) it is conducted on the occasion or as part of a celebration, competition, or similar event held in a venue other than a place of residence; (2) it is conducted under the supervision of a trained person duly licensed by the PNP; and (3) it is allowed by the municipality/city concerned through a permit specifying the date and time of the fireworks display and the specific area in which the display will be conducted, in conformity with national standards, rules and regulations.
In Cebu, how many individuals in one’s neighborhood lit firecrackers to celebrate Christmas? How many local government units here have enforced this EO, which is still binding unless revoked?
It is understandable that there is no law that outrightly bans the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices because it is part of Filipino culture to use them during important events.
Local government units could perhaps emulate Baguio City, which according to a Philippine News Agency report has not issued any permit for the sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnics to discourage the public from using them during the holiday season since 2012.
Not allowing traders to sell firecrackers and pyrotechnics to an individual is perhaps the best solution to eradicate firecracker-related injuries during the holiday season.
Editorial Cartoon by Enrico Santisas
December 29, 2022
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