Regulating Firecracker Use: Abalos Urges LGUs to Take Action

DILG Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos
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Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos has called on local government units (LGUs) to pass ordinances that prohibit the use of firecrackers in order to reduce the number of fireworks-related accidents during holiday celebrations. Additionally, he advocates for supervised fireworks displays in communal spaces, such as municipal town halls and designated areas.

Abalos emphasized that implementing these measures can help ensure a safe and enjoyable New Year celebration, even without the use of firecrackers. Speaking at the Lab 4 All: Christmas for All gift-giving activity at the Jose Fabella Center in Mandaluyong City, he stated, “I am calling for a local ordinance prohibiting the use of firecrackers and restricting fireworks display in communities. Anyway, we can celebrate the New Year properly even without fireworks.”

In 2017, former President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 28, which aimed to regulate and control the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices. Abalos urged LGUs to follow suit and implement similar measures, citing the successful adoption of the executive order by other local governments, including Davao City and Quezon City.

According to data from the Philippine National Police-Firearms and Explosive Office, the number of people sustaining fireworks-related injuries has decreased over the past decade. However, it is concerning that firecracker-related injuries at the beginning of 2023 were 42 percent higher than those recorded in the previous year.

The call to prohibit firecracker use and promote safety measures is crucial for ensuring the well-being of the public during festive occasions. By passing local ordinances that restrict the use of firecrackers, LGUs can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries caused by these explosive devices.

Fireworks displays in supervised and designated areas offer a safer alternative for communities. These controlled displays not only minimize the risk of injuries but also provide an opportunity for everyone to enjoy the visual spectacle without compromising their safety.

While the use of firecrackers has been a long-standing tradition during New Year celebrations, it is essential to recognize the need for change. In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the dangers associated with firecracker use, leading to increased efforts to regulate their usage.

By implementing local ordinances that prohibit firecracker use, LGUs can align themselves with the national government’s goal of promoting public safety. These measures can also serve as a catalyst for change, encouraging individuals and communities to embrace alternative ways of celebrating without compromising their well-being.

Furthermore, the success of existing regulations, such as Executive Order 28, in reducing fireworks-related injuries in certain localities underscores the effectiveness of these measures. By adopting similar policies, other LGUs can replicate this success and contribute to a safer and more enjoyable holiday season for their constituents.

It is crucial to recognize that change requires collective effort. The cooperation and support of the public, local authorities, and relevant stakeholders are vital in implementing and enforcing these safety measures effectively. Education and awareness campaigns can play a significant role in informing the public about the risks associated with firecracker use and promoting alternative ways to celebrate.

In conclusion, Secretary Abalos’ call for LGUs to pass ordinances prohibiting firecracker use and promoting supervised fireworks displays is a step towards ensuring public safety during holiday celebrations. By embracing these measures, communities can create a safer and more enjoyable environment for everyone, fostering a culture of responsible celebration and safeguarding the well-being of their constituents.

Source: The Manila Times

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