Only police-approved community fireworks will be allowed in Metro Manila on New Year’s Eve after the Metro Manila mayors’ council imposed a ban on the use of firecrackers, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Wednesday.
In a Laging Handa briefing, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said “house-to-house” lighting of fireworks would not be allowed to avoid the congestion of hospitals.
“Alam naman natin may datos tayo dati pa na during New Year’s Eve, kinabukasan madaming naoospital, dahil naputukan. So, hindi po natin kailangan ngayon iyan ‘no, at alam naman natin mayroon tayong pandemya ngayon at hindi na makakatulong kung iyong mga ospital natin ay magiging busy pa sa mga naputukan,” he said.
The measure was also meant to prevent mass gatherings.
“Kaya iniiwasan na lang po talaga lalung-lalo na iyong mga house-to-house fireworks dahil nga, unang-una, iyan ay makaka-attract ng mga tao, at mawawala iyong ating mga social distancing diyan, physical distancing… Kaya nga po pati mga parties, mass gathering, bawal po iyan,” Garcia said.
Garcia however that the selling of legitimate firecrackers would not be against the law.
“Ang problema, hindi rin puwedeng magamit,” he said.
Before holding community fireworks shows, Garcia said local government units must first get approval from the Philippine National Police.
From Dec. 21, 2019 to Jan. 1, 2020, the Department of Health Recorded 164 firecracker-related injuries.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte floated a plan to ban fireworks nationwide in 2021, like what he did in Davao City when he was mayor.
“May one year pa kayo next December. Baka next December i-bawal ko na ang putok because it is really a dangerous thing and for reasons of public safety and health. Public safety, mamatay ka, magkasakit ka. Health is ma-ospital ka, maputol iyong kamay mo. It’s a health problem actually iyong inhalation ng powder smoke. So, it is a problem of health, public interest and public safety,” he said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro