QC bans firecrackers, praised by NGOs for health, environmental and safety measures

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Quezon City has enacted an ordinance imposing a total ban on the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices during festivity and other occasions in all public places of the city.

The move was hailed by various non-government organizations in Quezon City as an essential health, environmental and safety measure worth replicating by other local government units (LGUs).

QC Ordinance No. 2618 Series of 2017 states the ban is being placed in time for the upcoming Christmas holiday season when firecracker explosions are known to cause respiratory ailments, injuries, deaths, and damages to properties.

The Quezon City barangay league is in charge of implementing the ban with the assistance of the Department of Public Order and Safety and the Quezon City Police District.

“We laud our local officials for enacting this ordinance that promises health and environmental benefits beyond measure for the people of Quezon City… Metro Manila and the whole nation will be watching as Quezon City enforces its ban on firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices for the common good,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner for EcoWaste Coalition in a statement.

“Children are at high risk for firecracker-related injuries that can seriously maim or kill… Quezon City’s ban on firecrackers, which all parents should support, will put an end to these gory stories,” said Ines Fernandez, founder of Arugaan, a breastfeeding advocacy group promoting child and maternal health.

Clean air advocate Tessa Oliva, Executive Director of Green Convergence, said: “Quezon City’s ban on firecrackers is good news for our noses and lungs as it will cut the discharge of dirty and toxic fumes that we inhale, which can aggravate the health conditions of adults and kids, especially those with asthma and other respiratory ailments. Since air pollutants know no boundaries, we hope other LGUs will ban firecrackers and fireworks as well.”

“With the ban on firecrackers, we hope to see cleaner streets come New Year’s Day. We look forward to ushering in 2018 with no more firecracker wrappers and debris to sweep and dispose of. The ban will surely cut the quantity and toxicity of residual waste that our communities throw away during New Year and other special occasions,” said Sonia Mendoza, Chairman, Mother Earth Foundation.

For Anna Cabrera, Executive Director of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, “the prohibition on firecrackers will be very beneficial to animals, especially for pet as well as stray cats and dogs who suffer a lot from the ear-splitting sounds of firecracker explosions,” adding that “other LGUs should follow Quezon City’s example.”

“As a resident of an urban poor community in Quezon City, the ban of firecrackers, we hope, will reduce the threat of fires in our neighborhood, as well as put more nutritious food on the table with the money saved from not buying firecrackers,” said Mercy Donor of Piglas Kababaihan.

The new ordinance signed in October specifies that the ban covers public places such as any street, road, alley, thoroughfare, open space, plaza, park, basketball court, and other similar places.

Firecrackers can still be approved for use in festivities with a clearance from the Department of Public Order and Safety.

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