As Filipino revelers await the usual boisterous New Year festivities across the archipelago, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reiterated on Thursday, its warning on the public regarding the use of illegal firecrackers.
The PNP Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) said some enterprising firecracker manufacturers had resorted to renaming oversized firecrackers with “humorous and amusing names” to entice customers.
“They may have different names, but they are all the same deadly illegal firecrackers,” Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr., the PNP spokesperson, said in a news briefing.
“We ask the public to just use torotot (trumpets), horns and other safe noise-making devices in welcoming 2013 instead of patronizing powerful and illegal firecrackers,” he said.
Superintendent Rogelio Simon, PNP-FEO deputy chief, said “Goodbye bading” and “Gangnam boom” were among the new dangerous and oversized firecrackers being sold illegally in the streets.
He said “Goodbye bading” was similar to a “whistle bomb,” a small, tube-like firecracker, which makes a whistling sound before exploding.
“Gangnam boom,” on the other hand, is a big triangle-shaped firecracker named after the latest dance craze popularized by Korean rapper Psy.
“’Goodbye bading’ is an oversized whistle bomb. It produces a loud screaming sound before exploding. They say the sound is similar to a screaming gay that’s why it was named like that,” Simon said.
With a diameter of at least three inches and height of about one foot, he said the dynamite-like firecracker could cause serious damage and injuries if set off in a populated area.
Simon said PNP-FEO operatives had been conducting operations to confiscate these types of “powerful” firecrackers and arrest their manufacturers.
The law prohibits firecrackers with more than .2 grams of incendiary powder and those which explode less than six seconds from the time they are set on fire, according to Simon.
“Oversized and imported firecrackers are also outlawed. Only locally made firecrackers can be sold and used in the country,” Simon told reporters.
He said the China-made picolo, which has since be renamed as Pacman, was the most common cause of firecracker-related injuries among children aged 6 to 10.
“In the last five years, picolo has been the number one cause of injuries among the children. That’s why we are conducting a more aggressive operation to seize all picolos,” he said.