Gatchalian reiterates firecracker ban to avoid New Year celebration injuries

Gatchalian stresses firecracker ban for safer New Year revelry

/ 11:26 AM December 24, 2023

firecracker ban-injure-24dec2023

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Win Gatchalian has reiterated the need for a ban on the sale and distribution of firecrackers to avoid injuries which have been common during the New Year celebrations.

Gatchalian in a statement on Sunday said that despite the huge reduction in firecracker-related injuries in recent years, the government still needs to reduce further the number of firecrackers and pyrotechnics being sold across the country.


“While significant reductions in the number of fireworks-related injuries have happened over the years due to greater government regulation, it would be ideal to further reduce, if not eliminate, fireworks-related injuries by prohibiting any person or business establishment to manufacture, sell, discharge firecrackers or pyrotechnic devices except for authorized fireworks displays,” he said.


“As much as we want to enjoy the holiday festivities, it remains crucial to ensure our celebrations are conducted with utmost safety and well-being in mind,” he added.

Firecrackers have been commonly used during New Year celebrations, as part of the belief that loud noise wards off evil spirits and bad omen for the coming year. But as of Saturday, the Department of Health (DOH) said that they have already recorded eight firecracker-related injuries even before New Year revelries.

While this number is significantly lower than previous years — like in 2014 when 30 injuries were already recorded from December 21 to 25 — several government and non-government groups still call for a total ban on firecracker sale.

Pro-environment group BAN Toxics said that prohibiting firecrackers would not only help prevent injuries related to firecrackers, but would also protect the environment as fumes from these pyrotechnic devices would be avoided.

READ: Ban firecrackers for ‘safer holiday season’ in PH, gov’t asked

Also, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. also wants a firecracker ban, proposing that supervised fireworks display instead be held in common spaces. However, local fireworks and firecrackers manufacturers appealed to the government to reconsider such plans, as doing so would not stop illicit sale of firecrackers in the black market.

As for Gatchalian, he said that he had already filed a bill in the Senate which calls to amend Republic Act No. 718 or An Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, Distribution, and Use of Firecrackers and other Pyrotechnic Devices.


According to the Senator, his bill suggests that entities will only be allowed to use fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices after securing a special permit from the Philippine National Police’s Fire and Explosives Office. Also, fireworks displays will be limited to professionals who are “technically equipped with skills and knowledge on the use of firecrackers”.

Aside from this, Gatchalian also noted that firecrackers sometimes have a negative psychological effect on humans and their pets, due to the loud noises and explosions that these devices create.

“The public should be mindful of the psychological trauma and anxiety disorders that they may experience due to firecracker-related explosions,” he said.

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“Taon-taon na lang, hindi nawawala ang mga nabibiktima ng mga paputok. Taon-taon na lang, nananawagan tayo na maraming ibang paraan ang pwedeng gawin para ipagdiwang ang Bagong taon nang masaya at maingay, hindi lang sa pamamagitan ng mga paputok,” he added.

(Every year, we have victims of firecracker-related injuries. Every year, we call for alternative ways to celebrate the New Year loudly and happily, but not through the use of firecrackers.)


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TAGS: firecrackers ban, New Year, Sherwin Gatchalian

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