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PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

DOH-6 pushes for total firecrackers ban

by Elsa S. Subong

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 11 (PIA6) -- The Department of Health-CHD-6 is pushing for the total ban of firecrackers to put an end to injuries every celebration of New year.

This move is necessary despite the decreased number of cases of firecracker-related injuries in the region, said Dr. Sofia Chua, Local Health Support division Chief of DOH-6.

Chua said in an interview that this proposal may be in for rough sailing as it has become a tradition for Filipinos to celebrate New Year with firecrackers.

“Firecrackers are also part of the Filipinos’ celebration of occasions like weddings, baptism, graduations or anniversaries,” Chua said.

She added that government spends about P20,000 for every victim of firecrackers and stray bullets during the New Year.

She also said opposition can come from firecracker manufacturers and distributors who earn from the industry which is likewise, employing thousands all over the country.

“The benefits in the total ban of firecrackers should outweigh the disadvantages,” Chua said.

She said the support of lawmakers is highly needed to effectively impose a total ban on firecrackers.

Chua said pointed out that according to reports, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, has urged for the drafting of a bill for a total ban on firecrackers.

While the DOH is advocating for and public health and safety, the DENR is for the protection of the environment which is adversely affected by firecrackers and fireworks.

On the other hand, some quarters of the media here, including the Iloilo Press Club, have urged for the imposition of regulation not only on public’s use of firecrackers but on manufacturing and selling, with heavy penalties on violators. (JCM/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

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