Bishop Abet Uy of the Diocese of Tagbilaran called on the public to refrain from lighting up firecrackers and fireworks to celebrate Christmas and to welcome the new year to avoid causing further air pollution.
“Nanawagan ko sa katawhan na magdumili g’yud ta sa pagpaboto ug kining gitawag na fireworks display. Akong gihanyo ang mga leaders nato sa katilingban, sa paggamhanan kay it’s very damaging ang noise pollution and air pollution,” Uy said.
The bishop also raised concern over the safety hazards posed by the use of firecrackers, which has been noted to lead to various injuries.
“Let’s celebrate Christmas and the New Year in a different way, kanang safe and healthy,” he said.
Uy has been known for his green initiatives including his call for the ban of single-use plastics and his province-wide tree-planting program and use of solar power in churches and other institutions under the diocese.
Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Oscar Boyles, chief of the Tagbilaran City Police Station, noted that the sale and use of firecrackers in the city are strictly prohibited.
According to Boyles, they have so far only confiscated a few firecrackers at the City Square as of Monday.
He said that they are implementing the total ban in efforts to maintain a zero-casualty rate for firecracker-related injuries in the city.
Data from the Philippine National Police Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) showed a nationwide drop in fire cracker-related injuries in the past years amid the crackdown on sale of firecrackers.
The FEO recorded 307 incidents in January this year down from 449 in January 2017 and 929 in January 2016.
The police’s monitoring and efforts against the sale and use of firecrackers stemmed from President Duterte’s signing of Executive Order No. 28, which covers the regulation and control of firecracker use, in 2017. (A. Doydora)