23 December 2008

PNP Asked to Enforce Ban on “Boga”

Quezon City. As the New Year revelry near, a non-government organization campaigning for safe and toxics-free festivities has asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to fully enforce the ban on “boga.”

The EcoWaste Coalition, which initiated the “Iwas PapuTOXIC” campaign to enhance the “Iwas Paputok” of the Department of Health, urged PNP Director General Jesus Verzosa to step up police action against “boga” or improvised cannons made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe.

The use of “boga” was banned by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2006 after the popular noisemaker caused 38 eye injuries and 33 blast/burn injuries, including one requiring amputation.

Apart from physical injuries, the EcoWaste Coalition has expressed concern over the disposal of used PVC pipes after the revelry.

“Time and again, we see the spent “boga” being burned or dumped along with tons of other festivity discards,” Manny Calonzo, President of the EcoWaste Coalition, said.

Used PVC “boga” when burned results in the emission of dioxin, an extremely toxic chemical poison that can cause many serious health problems such as cancer.

The EcoWaste Coalition believes that a renewed campaign against “boga” will help prevent dioxin pollution, while ensuring zero eye, blast or burn injury from the mishandling of this dangerous firecracker.

Meanwhile, the EcoWaste Coalition called on local government units (LGUs) to follow the example of Davao City, which has banned since 2002 the manufacture, sale, distribution, possession and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

“The adoption and enforcement of Davao City Ordinance 060-02 has dramatically reduced to zero all firecracker-related injuries and fatalities in the city during the New Year revelry,” the EcoWaste Coalition noted.

The LGUs, in the interest of public safety and health, need not wait for a formal legislation to ban firecrackers, all of which pose serious threats to limb, life and property and cause toxic pollution, the EcoWaste Coalition said.

At present, the list of banned firecrackers include atomic big triangulo, five star, og, picollo, pla-pla, super lolo, thunder and watusi.

The list, the EcoWaste Coalition said, should be expanded to include all other hazardous and toxic firecrackers, including imported and locally manufactured firecrackers.

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 320, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 9290376
ecowastecoalition@yahoo.com

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