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Pyrotechnics must be zero percent


(BY: REV. BERLIE G. YAP) Our local government is positive that on Christmas and the New Year’s Eves, Zamboanga City will have a zero percent use to any pyrotechnics. Such positivism is fueled by a local ordinance C.O. 431, banning the use and sell of all pyrotechnics in the said two holidays, that despite of the City’s years strong tradition for their use. Watta change, indeed!

Would Zamboanga want to see real change, we must have a strong will to stand to say no, to implement unpopular statutes and local laws for the general welfare of the public and the City. We hail Hon. BG Guingona who sponsored the same ordinance last year in the City Council. That ordinance was proven to be indeed doable during the last year’s New Year’s Eve. 

Before our eyes we saw it to be after all effective. For its first year, the use of pyrotechnics was minimized. Ones who did were only a handful un-informed or just the hardheaded citizens who still dared to blast fire crackers.

Recently, two sisters were arrested in the violation of the said ordinance—C.O. 431, at least a week before the Christmas Eve and 2 weeks before the New Year’s Eve. Its violation has corresponding penal sanctions or fines. The job for its implementation is our local police. Same public officers will have all their powers provided by law to implement the zero percent.

Will it be possible? Of course yes! If Davao City is able to do it, not just once but every single year, there can be no reason that Zamboanga cannot do it. The factors are the will of the local government to the implementation of the law, the civilians’ cooperation and the consistency of the Philippine National Police. Absence of any will cause the very shallow foundation for a desired clean celebration of the two holidays.

By experience, as any other city in the country, there will always be some stubborn residents. That is why any local law or statute per se must have penal sanctions or fines as to teach the citizens to obey. After all, like the ban of pyrotechnics, all regulations are for the good of everyone.

If we can do it again, like last year, there will be no lung problems to our asthmatic and older populace in Zamboanga! There will be no more injuries, unwanted accidents, and of course a good cut as an addition to the families’ budget that can be used for the holidays’ dinner preparations. So, everybody can be happy.

Every Zamboangueño must prove now to the world that we have what it takes to introduce a good change in our place. In all fairness, the siege last year has also contributed a positive learning to our City. Because of it, we were encouraged to support the C.O. 143, noting that Hon. Guingona’s residence was also one of those which were affected during the intrusion.

Even up to now, in all the corners of Zamboanga, anytime if there is a seeming blast or a gunshot heard, everyone becomes concerned right away. Indeed, we learnt so much! Such became a positive one for a needed change to our beloved City.

Zamboanga has known to be involved in the business of pyrotechnics for years. Neighbor towns and provinces did even buy their supplies here. But it is kind of a drastic twist, that now Zamboanga is aspiring to have a zero percent to either its use or trade. Good news they are to the general public but also are a sad one to a handful of merchants whose business for decades were in the sale of pyrotechnics.

The business of firecrackers is a big money, but it is such a good business that must be sacrificed for the common good of everyone. Anyway, our Chinese friends do as well understand the objective of our government.

The Department of Health (DOH) has been in a same campaign, but before the C.O. 143, Zamboanga ignored it. Now DOH must be very happy for the local legislation leading to its eventual City ordinance.

Homes after all can still welcome the New Year’s Eve with noises, though this time in other ways. A good videoke is an example! How about making a contest in our houses when we wait the countdown for the Christmas or the New Year’s Eves? Everyone can enjoy without exposing anyone to any injury. Or you can be creative to do stuffs your way.

“I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,    and you have healed me.” Ps. 30:1-2

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