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Public urged: Donate to charity, forgo firecrackers

(The Philippine Star) - December 30, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Catholic bishops yesterday appealed to the public to donate to charity instead of spending money for firecrackers.

Iloilo Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said the faithful can welcome the New Year by sharing their blessings with the less fortunate.

“We should be more generous to the poor,” Lagdameo said. “Convert firecrackers into charity.” 

Bataan Bishop Rufino Santos said donating to charity can give the people the opportunity to help others and lessen their chances of being injured by firecrackers.

“As a preventive measure against injury, let us forgo firecrackers,” Santos said.

He said the faithful may share money saved from buying firecrackers with poor families in their parishes.

“This is a corporal act of charity as we celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy. As we are grateful for the blessings of 2015, let us share our blessings by giving bags of foodstuff to poor parishioners,” he said.

He had distributed 100 bags of groceries to the needy, especially sidewalk vendors, Santos said.

Meanwhile, Representatives Martin Romualdez of Leyte and Mark Villar of Las Piñas City   appealed to people welcoming the New Year with fireworks to keep safe. 

“Our people must do their share in ensuring that they will be safe and in one piece as we welcome 2016,” Romualdez said.

Villar warned revelers to refrain from using banned firecrackers.

Romualdez said celebrating the New Year with fireworks is part of the Filipino tradition.

“But the celebration will be happier and more meaningful if we all remain safe,” he said.

He urged local governments to wage a crackdown on illegal firecracker manufacturers.

Romualdez asked the people to be vigilant against gun owners who use their firearms to welcome the New Year and report them to the police.

He said onlookers must keep a safe distance from fireworks.

 He reminded them there have been numerous cases in the past of premature or unexpected explosions that hurt bystanders.     

Villar, chairman of the House of Representatives committee on trade and industry, said buyers should look for the Philippine Standard (PS) mark on firecrackers.

“Without the PS mark, manufacturers are illegally selling their fireworks. They have not complied with the law prescribing standards for fireworks,” he said. 

He said under the law, only these firecrackers are allowed: baby rocket, bawang, small triangulo, pulling of strings, paper caps, el diablo, Judas’ belt and kwitis.

Villar said buyers could check the permits of sellers from the local government unit and the Philippine National Police Firearms and Explosives Office, the agency authorized to regulate the manufacture and sale of fireworks. – Evelyn Macairan, Jess Diaz

 

ACIRC BATAAN BISHOP RUFINO SANTOS EVELYN MACAIRAN FIRECRACKERS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ILOILO ARCHBISHOP ANGEL LAGDAMEO JESS DIAZ JUBILEE OF MERCY NBSP NEW YEAR ROMUALDEZ
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