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A safer communal New Year’s celebration

By: Editorial December 30,2016 - 08:18 PM


As the clock winds down to New Year’s Day at midnight, we hope the local governments of Cebu will follow the directive of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to monitor and crack down on the use of firecrackers by persons even as they are busy with their family in greeting the start of 2017.

In other places, like Cagayan de Oro City in northern Mindanao, DILG personnel made house visits a la Oplan Tokhang, using the public address system mounted on their vehicles to appeal to residents to avoid using firecrackers for a safe celebration of the New Year.

Indeed, this is the time for safety amid revelry, when pyrotechnics are lit up in a safe and common venue away from any potential fire zone to color the sky and usher in the new year.

In order to ensure the safety of Pinoys, it is the barangays that should take the lead in promoting communal pyrotechnics shows, and the barangay officials should work double time in patrolling their streets to make sure that their constituents don’t engage in their own drunken revelry and carelessly light up any firecracker they could get their hands on only to see them blow their fingers to smithereens.

The police already know the drill, and the hospitals are ready not only to greet the firecracker victims but also the newborns who will see the light of their first day at the dawn of January 1.

But a community fireworks show should have been planned at least since last month to remind and discourage residents from lighting up their own firecrackers and instead simply relax and allow the experts to thrill and entertain them with their own professionally prepared light show.

It’s not as if we’re strangers to extravagant light shows. For Cebu residents, they have the Sinulog fireworks display held at the end of the Sinulog grand parade and dance presentation. Why not do the same during New Year?

That is how other peoples around the world celebrate New Year. In New York; Sydney, Australia; Europe; and parts of Asia, including China, where pyrotechnics as a trade have blossomed and transported here in the country, fireworks shows are handled by professionals who earn prestige and are sought after for helping entertain the crowd of onlookers who can safely celebrate the occasion with their loved ones and friends.

It’s actually being done by malls in Manila, and some hotels in Cebu have already started offering packaged deals that include a fireworks show and entertainment. But we’re talking about doing it on the community level, where residents can at least share that one night to celebrate and develop a strong bond with each other that can endure for the rest of the incoming year and the years to come.

It’s perhaps too late to do it, but maybe we can make the effort to start banning firecrackers and supporting community fireworks shows.

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TAGS: barangay, Cagayan de Oro City, Cebu, celebrate, China, Department of the Interior and Local Government, DILG, firecrackers, fireworks, Interior, local government, mall, Manila, Oplan TokHang, Pinoy, pyrotechnics, Sinulog Festival, Tokhang

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