Fireworks will again be disallowed this year so Partido Reporma’s senatorial bet Guillermo Eleazar is urging people to use horns, or torotot, as noisemakers in celebrating Christmas and New Year. (Photo: Culture Trip)
MAKATI CITY, METRO MANILA — Recalling last year’s positive results on the ban of fireworks, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and senatorial aspirant Guillermo ‘Gaylor’ Eleazar expressed his support for a repeat of the policy amid pandemic and safety fears which has prompted government authorities to impose quieter than usual festive celebrations for a second straight year.
In an announcement issued early this month, Malacanang officially banned traditional firework celebrations over Christmas and New Year for the second straight year due to Covid-19 and other concerns involving safety, health and environmental issues.
The ban was based on the recommendation of the Health Department (DoH) to avoid firework-related accidents during a time when medical services were being stretched because of the pandemic as well as to lessen pollution that usually spreads from the smoke produced from the use of pyrotechnic displays.
“Mas maigi na kung magdiriwang tayo ng ligtas sa disgrasya. Nakita naman natin noong nakaraan taon na pinagbawal ang mga paputok at talaga namang nabawasan ng malaki ang bilang ng mga naputukan o naospital dahil sa paputok o aksidenteng may kaugnayan sa mga pagdiriwang na Pasko at Bagong Taon,” Eleazar opined.
Last year, the Department of Health (DoH) reported an 85 percent decrease in firework-related injuries, thanks to the ban. There were also no fires linked to them either, according to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
The retired police general and Partido Reporma senatorial bet noted that although the number of daily infections of Covid-19 has dropped in recent weeks, health experts have advised people to avoid complacency and be mindful of the threat posed by the Omicron coronavirus variant even if there are no reports of its entry or recorded cases yet in the country.
“Marami pa tayong hinaharap na problema kaya huwag na sana nating sayangin ang ating mga nagawa at nakamit sa pag laban natin sa Covid-19. Isa pa, Mas makakabuti kung sa halip na gumasta tayo sa paputok ay bumili na lang tayo ng mga bagay na Mas kailangan natin para sa ating pamilya,” Eleazar added.
Going back to the fireworks ban, PNP chief Lieutenant General Dionardo Carlos reminded the public that those who will be caught flouting the ban will face criminal and civil charges.
“The police fully support the Department of Health in promoting safety while celebrating the holiday season despite firework displays being a cultural tradition Filipinos are accustomed to during personal and religious events, especially during the New Year,” he enthused. (ai/mtvn)