Communities Urged to Go “Paputok-Free” to Prevent Firecracker Injuries, Fires and Fumes

In a last ditch effort to promote a safe and non-toxic New
Year revelry, the EcoWaste Coalition today organized the “Iwas Paputoxic in Project 6” community parade against firecrackers in Quezon City.  

In collaboration with the Project 6 Barangay Council, the Office of Councilor
Beth Delarmente and other local groups, the waste and pollution watch group
pushed for the use of alternative noisemakers to herald the New Year that will
not result in physical injuries, accidental fires and health-damaging

The parade, which brought together some 500 residents and
members of the fire and police forces and other groups, hoped to keep Project 6
as a zero injury and zero fire community during the New Year festivities.  
“As 2016 is about to end, we urge our community leaders and
their constituents to go all out for a harmless celebration of the New Year
sans firecrackers,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste
“Firecrackers are dangerous as hell,” she warned, pointing
to the countless incidents of horrific burns, serious infections, ghastly
wounds, amputated fingers, damaged eyes and fires resulting from firecracker
explosions, as well as poisoning cases due to the ingestion of firecrackers
such as watusi.
“For QC residents, we earnestly request them not to buy firecrackers and, with
the money saved,  help the victims of
recent fires in the city, particularly in Barangay Pinyahan that left some
1,000 families homeless this New Year,” she added.
Barangay Project 6 Chairperson Vicente Honorio Llamas V, for his part, said: “Firecrackers
are not really cheap considering their health and environmental impacts and the
costly property damage due to fires. Money spent for firecrackers are better
spent for food and other household needs.”  

Pulmonologist Dr. Maricar Limpin stated that: “Setting off firecrackers will
release toxic fumes filled with assorted environmental toxicants and obnoxious
particles that irritates the respiratory system, especially among young
children, the elderly and chronic asthma sufferers,” noting the rise of
atmospheric pollutants such as particulate matters during the New Year
revelries. Limpin is executive director of the Framework Convention on Tobacco
Control Alliance Philippines and member of the Board of Regents of the
Philippine College of Physicians.

To drive their message home, hundreds of community members
joined the parade with some participants brandishing mock giant firecrackers
with the warning words “dangerous,” “deadly” and “dirty” written on them.
The participants also showed off various alternative
noisemakers, including recycled maracas using empty pineapple juice cans,
shakers from used plastic bottles with pebbles, and the all-time favorite
torotot.  Others were seen having fun
creating sounds from common kitchen utensils such as pots and pot lids.
Among the groups that took part in the community program for
a firecracker-free New Year festivities were the Barangay Project 6 Lupon,
Bureau of Fire Protection, Ernesto Rondon High School Students and
Parent-Teacher Association Members, Red Cross Ernesto Rondon High School
Chapter, Federation of Senior Citizens, Kariton Klasrum Group, Kiwanis Club,
Knights of Columbus, Luntiang Kababaihan, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Lay
Ministers, Police Community Precinct Masambong Station 2, Pet Lovers Advocates
of Project 6, Project 6 Basketball Association, Project 6 Dancers, Project 6
Elementary School SPTA, Project 6 Elementary School Boy/Girl Scouts, Project 6
Task Force Youth, Project 6 Tennis Club, Project 6 TESDA Group, Project 6 Waste
Management Group, Rotary Club of North Edsa D3780, Tambuli Group, Trippers
Philippines Group 2 and the 55-ers Sunday Club.
For a safe, non-toxic New Year’s welcome, the EcoWaste
Coalition urged the public to observe the following noes:
1. No blasting of firecrackers.
2.  No firing of guns.

3.  No polyvinyl
chloride (PVC) boga.

4.  No burning of
5.  No open burning of
6.  No lighting of sky