City Who Banned Firecrackers

If the Department of Health (DOH) is busy in looking for an effective action on how to “threaten” the Filipinos so that they will not use a firecracker in the celebration of the New Year’s Eve, a City in our country do not have this kind of problem because of the existing local ordinance about the total ban of firecrackers.

Every year, hundreds of Filipinos were sent to the hospital because of firecracker-related injuries. In year 2005, there are about 177 persons injured in just a single day during the celebration of the New Years Eve. This number drop to 118 in 2006 and was further lowered to 108 in 2007. But between December 21, 2007 and January 02, 2008, the firecracker-related incident made a huge spike which goes as high as 439. Not to include the injuries related to indiscriminate gun firing.

And in 2009, the DOH had come up with a way to threaten the public on the use

of firecrackers. They had release campaign materials and leaflets showing gruesome decapitated hands brought about a firecracker blast to warn the public. The DOH campaign was shown in the television, billboards, and leaflets given to many public establishments in the country.  But despite this, the DOH did not manage to threaten the Filipinos and still there are huge in flock of firecracker-related injuries during the New Years Day celebration.

The Philippine National Police also strengthen their drive against the selling and use of illegal and banned forms of firecrackers including the “Piccolo” which is the main cause of injury for children. These includes those that beyond the regulated amount of explosives. Some of the illegally manufactured firecrackers already resemble that of an improvised explosive device (IED) which can

already kill a person. Another banned firecracker is the "watusi" which contains toxic chemicals and may be deadly to small children if indegested.

What is alarming to this is that at least 30% of the injured persons were minors (10 years and below). The latest data for the year 2013-2014 celebration reached to almost 1000 incident. 

Because of the destruction brought by firecrackers; as well as the incident of building/residential fires, the Local Council of Davao City had proposed a city ordinance that will impose a “total ban” of the use and selling of firecrackers on 2001. This ordinance was fully supported by the incumbent Mayor of that time Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

But prior to the total ban, Davao City has one of the highest firecracker-related injuries in the whole country. According to the Davao Medical Center, there were at least 47 victims in 1998, 59 victims in 1997, and 88 victims in 2000.

And after the total ban, the numbers of victims in 2001 New Year Celebration is only 2. And because of this positive effect, some members of Congress are now proposing to have a nationwide ban against the use of firecrackers during the New Years Day celebration.

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