Manila, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) called on cities and municipalities to strictly enforce their respective ordinances prohibiting the use of harmful fireworks to ensure safe New Year festivities.
Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos issued the call Wednesday as the number of fireworks-related injuries reached 75 just days before New Year’s Eve.
According to the DILG, at least 1,210 local government units (LGUs) have ordinances in place banning the use of harmful firecrackers
“Make sure that these ordinances are enforced. Let’s put teeth into these ordinances against dangerous fireworks,” Abalos said in Filipino.
“These policies are meaningless if we do not implement them in our barangays,” he added.
Despite the issuance of a Duterte-era executive order in 2017 limiting the use of firecrackers to community fireworks displays, firecracker use and individual fireworks displays persist.
The Department of Health reported Wednesday that nearly all fireworks-related injuries happened at home and on streets, and primarily involved males. Illegal firecrackers were responsible for about six out of every 10 cases.
Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition also urged the public to “make this year’s celebrations of the New Year safer for our people and kinder to the environment” by refraining from using firecrackers. — Gaea Katreena Cabico