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Senator Gatchalian pushes for prohibition of firecrackers

Streaks of fireworks blaze across the sky in this file photo taken in Valenzuela City during its traditional Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. Gatchalian is pushing for stricter regulation of the firecracker industry thru the Firecrackers Regulation Act of 2016. (Photo by Mark Cayabyab)

With Christmas and New Year’s Eve fast approaching, Senator Win Gatchalian is once again pushing for stricter regulation of firecrackers to minimize the health and safety hazards rooted in the pyrotechnic-happy traditions of the holiday season.

As explained by Gatchalian in the explanatory note of Senate Bill No. 1140, the Firecrackers¬†Prohibition Act of 2016: “Every year, we endure the pollutants caused by the use of firecrackers to welcome the New Year. We see news flashes of countless injuries, especially to hapless children. Until when should we allow this cycle of perils to our health and environment?”

In line with this, Gatchalian’s proposal prohibits the sale and distribution of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices to individuals for recreational use.

Casual consumers will also be prohibited from using firecrackers and other fireworks for recreational use.

However, commercial and industrial users, such as those who use fireworks for authorized large-scale pyrotechnic shows, are exempt from the general prohibition.

“Our goal here is to protect the people from exposure to unnecessary harm and injury during the Christmas season. It’s all about celebrating the holidays in a responsible and disciplined manner,” said Gatchalian.