BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan strongly recommended to the Department of Health (DOH) and the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) to explore the possibility of changing its slogan of ‘Iwas Paputok” to “Bawal ang Paputok” to send a clear message to the people to refrain from exploding firecrackers during the celebration of the Christmas and New Year revelries.
The city chief executive admitted that while there has been a significant decrease in firecracker-related injuries in the city during the New Year revelry that dropped to only 3 incidents compared to the 11 incidents recorded last year, concerned agencies and the city government must work double time to strictly implement the total ban on the use of firecrackers during the celebration of the Christmas and New Year.
“We already recommended to the concerned health authorities to change their slogan “Iwas Paputok” to Bawal ang Paputok” to make it clear to the people that the explosion of firecrackers during the Yuletide season is prohibited so they will not try to sneak in firecrackers to be used during the revelries,” Domogan stressed.
He thanked Baguio residents who heeded his repeated appeal not to use firecrackers during the Yuletide revelries to instead use alternative means of creating noise in welcoming the new year and this contributed significantly in reducing the number of firecracker-related injuries in the city for the period December 21, 2017 to January 5, 2018.
According to him, the drastic drop in the number of firecracker-related injuries in the city during the period is a clear indication that the City Council has to enact the pending ordinance imposing a total ban on the sale, disposal and manufacture of firecrackers in the city and regulating the use of pyrotechnic materials for special occasions.
Domogan directed the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) to file the necessary charges against an individual arrested for selling prohibited firecrackers in the city as a clear warning that the local government means business in totally banning the sale of firecrackers in the city during the Yuletide season.
On December 31, 2017, personnel of the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) arrested Noraldine Boriongan Macalimpao, 23, a resident of Crystal Cave, Baguio City for violation of the city’s anti-peddling ordinance for selling packs of firecrackers worth P250 while his cohorts escaped to an undisclosed direction. The arrested individual and the confiscated pieces of evidence were brought to the BCPO headquarters for the filing of the appropriate charges against him and his possible cohorts.
According to him, the successful operation of the POSD personnel and the BCPO law enforcers only indicates the willingness of the local government to ban the use of firecrackers during the Yuletide revelries for the safety and protection of the residents.
He appealed to the residents to continue their cooperation to the sustained implementation of the anti-firecracker ban for the local government to achieve the desired zero casualty during the Yuletide revelries.
By Dexter A. See