A quieter, more solemn and a safer Christmas season is expected for Muntinlupa this year as the city government enacted a ban on the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnics within city limits for the rest of the year.
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi signed Executive Order (EO) 15 banning the display, sale, use, and distribution of firecrackers for the duration of the Christmas and New Year season in an attempt to reduce injuries and the threat of fires that usually come with the traditional revelry.
“We want to make this Christmas season safer and more meaningful for everyone,” Fresnedi explained. “With firecrackers getting more powerful and dangerous every year, we want to ensure that Muntinlupeños will welcome the New Year in a healthy state.”
Muntinlupa reported18 injured and one death related to firecrackers at the start of 2013, based on reports from the City Health Office. Health authorities, together with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) recommended for a total ban in view of the potential for injury as well as the hazards brought by noise pollution and toxic byproducts of firecrackers and pyrotechnics.
Muntinlupeños need not despair, however, as fireworks displays in non-residential areas are allowed, provided that a permit from the BFP Fire Marshal and the Philippine National Police is secured.
A licensed and authorized technician must be on hand to directly supervise the fireworks display, and fire protection and first aid equipment must be readily available. The nearest fire station must also be notified whenever a fireworks display is to be held.
Fresnedi also recommends a better alternative to buying firecrackers this year: “It would be better instead of spending our hard-earned money on firecrackers, we can send it to help survivors of the Yolanda disaster. Instead of wasting our finances, let’s contribute to helping our kababayan rebuild their lives.”