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EDITORIAL - Dangerous firecrackers

As Filipinos troop to the streets to greet the coming New Year, authorities are busy reminding them about the danger of firecrackers. The Department of Health has been calling for the revelers to refrain from using deadly pyrotechnic materials in order to prevent injuries.

For Filipinos, celebrating the New Year would always come with the biggest bang available. That is why every year, firecracker makers across the country never fail to flood the market with different kinds of materials.

Unfortunately, authorities see many of these firecrackers as too hazardous. The DOH has banned “piccolo,” “kwitis,” “pla-pla,” five-star, “atomic bomb,” triangle, “Super Lolo,” “boga” and “watusi,” listing them as most the dangerous firecrackers in the country.

But the manufacture and sale of these dangerous firecrackers continue. Despite the ban, manufacturers still enjoy brisk sale of these prohibited materials. In fact, a buyer can even have any of these materials in areas designated by government as pyrotechnic zone.

It remains a mystery why, despite the DOH ban, the business of selling these kinds of hazardous firecrackers flourish. As the public sees it, the ban has been toothless because the government did not lift a finger to stop the manufacture and sale of these dangerous firecrackers.

The DOH’s war against deadly firecrackers will remain useless unless it is intensified in coordination with the police authorities. Of course, political will is also seriously needed.

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The firecracker business in the country has become a cottage industry that it needs serious government intervention in the campaign to prohibit the manufacture and sale of dangerous firecrackers.

Prohibiting the manufacture and sale of those deadly firecrackers does not mean the end is near for the industry. Despite the regulation, the pyrotechnic trade will always remain brisk because it has been a very stable industry.

But as a whole, the industry should also learn to go after the safety of the consumers.

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