WELCOMING the new year with “a bang” is a tradition not only in the metropolis but elsewhere in the Philippines, where even minors and senior citizens are seen exploding powerful and deadly firecrackers.
But this year, the Metropolitan Manila Council (MMC), knowing full well the dangers posed by firecrackers, has imposed a total ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in the heavily-populated metropolis.
The MMC, which is composed of “voting and non-voting members,” is the governing board and policy making body of the highly-influential Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
MMDA is chaired by retired Army Scout Ranger Gen. Danilo “Danny” D. Lim of Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, a former rebel soldier and a graduate of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point.
Voting members are the mayors of Manila, Quezon, Caloocan, Las Pinas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Paranaque, Pasay, Pasig, San Juan, Taguig, Valenzuela and Pateros.
The PNP chief, Gen. Debold M. Sinas, also ordered the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) under B/Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. to fully enforce Republic Act (RA) 7183 and Executive Order (EO) 28.
RA 7183 and EO 28 to regulate the sale, manufacture, distribution and use of firecrackers and similar devices.
In imposing the firecracker ban, the MMC, in a resolution passed on Dec. 19, 2020, noted that aside from endangering the lives of people, exploding firecrackers also cause deadly fires.
Danao said violators will be initially apprehended and told not to repeat the same offense, adding fireworks displays in designated areas should first be approved by the local government unit.
Earlier this month, President Duterte said he may order a nationwide total ban on firecrackers next year, saying it is really a dangerous thing and for reasons of public safety and health.
In the view of many, particularly parents and community leaders, the public ought to welcome Duterte’s statement and MMC’s resolution banning the use of firecrackers in the metropolis.