Firecracker ban will lead to hunger

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    MALOLOS CITY—The Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc. (PPMDAI) warned that thousands will lose their jobs and will go hungry if the proposed total ban on firecrackers will push through.

    The ban will affect not only the some 100,000 pyrotechnics stakeholders in Bulacan but also dealers and even small retailers and their vendors in different parts of the country. In an interview over Radyo Bulacan yesterday morning, Vimmie Erese, PPMDAI president, lamented the plan of the Department of Health which gained support from Malacanang.

    Speaking in Filipino, Erese said that thousands will go hungry as “many of our stakeholders depend on their sales during the last month of the year. It’s the only time they earn better.” Erese recounted the same in a follow-up telephone interview with Punto! about two hours later.

    Still speaking in Filipino she said “proponents of the firecracker ban should consider people’s livelihood. The ban stemmed from the reported more than 600 pyrotechnics- related injuries reported by the DOH. Erese said that government especially the DOH should also consider what kind of fi recracker caused the injury.

    She explained that for years, the PPMDAI has been conducting safety seminars to manufacturers, dealers and retailers across the country. Last year they were able to conduct seminars with the Philippine National Police in all regions in the country including the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

    The same view was echoed by Engineer Celso Cruz, PPMDAI president emeritus, saying that most injuries were caused by illegally manufactured pyrotechnics products. Citing chemical content of legally made firecracker which is less than a teaspoon, Cruz said that is not enough to cause injuries.

    “It is very clear that oversized and illegally manufactured products are the ones that caused injuries, but the whole industry is blamed for every injury,” Cruz said.

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