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Zamboanga, Kidapawan join Davao City in banning firecrackers

DAVAO CITY – At least three cities in Mindanao will welcome 2014 with a ban on firecrackers.

Zamboanga and Kidapawan have been observing a no-firecrackers holiday season. Davao City, which has enforced a ban on firecrackers and fireworks for the past 11 years, wants to be known as the “city of torotot” (party blowers).

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Arnold Dellosa, Smart’s regional sales manager for South Mindanao, said they were planning to gather 10,000 torotot-blowers in one place this year to break Japan’s record of 6,900 party blowers in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The event at the Freedom Park on Roxas Boulevard here will start 1 p.m. on December 31 and last through 1 a.m. on January 1.

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City residents have become creative in making noise—music turned on full volume, banging pans and even shouting their lungs out.

In Zamboanga City, the city council passed a resolution last November temporarily suspending the sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnics during the Christmas season to give residents some respite from the noise.

Last September, Zamboanga residents endured three weeks of agony due to explosions of hand grenades, mortar shells, bombs and other weapons as government forces battled with Moro National Liberation Front guerrillas last September.

Msgr. Crisologo Manongas, administrator of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, said that instead of buying firecrackers, residents should donate money to survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.

Kidapawan City has also banned firecrackers and pyrotechnics this year.

“This is for the good of everybody. It may take sometime before we can really adapt to the firecracker ban but we should start now,” Kidapawan Mayor Joseph Evangelista said.

The Kidapawan City Fireworks Vendors Association had appealed to the city government to allow its members to sell “safe firecrackers and pyrotechnics” in places to be designated by the government.  But Evangelista turned down the request and continued to enforce the ban.

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“This is to ensure the safety of the public from injuries and even death due to accidents in the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnics,” he said.

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TAGS: Firecrackers, New Year, news, Regions, Yolanda
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