Alternative livelihood needed before total firecracker ban – Duque

January 02, 2019
Francisco Duque III

IF the use of firecrackers would be banned totally during New Year celebrations, the Department of Health said livelihood programs should be provided to the affected individuals in the firecrackers industry.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that while they support the firecracker ban, it cannot be implemented easily because there is a need to provide alternative livelihood programs for individuals who will be affected by the ban.

“We cannot be reckless. We have to be clear about the alternative livelihood programs for people who will be displaced because of the ban. That is the more compelling reason that we need to look into,” he said.

Duque further said the matter needs to be discussed with officials from the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Finance as it has a lot of implications.

DoH records showed a marked decline in the number of firecracker-related injuries during the 2019 New Year’s Eve revelry. It has recorded 139 firecracker-related injuries, which indicated a 68-percent decrease compared to the total number of cases last year.

Despite the reduction, Duque still aims for a celebration with no firecracker-related injury.

“We are gratified on the reduction but we are also saddened as there are still cases related to fireworks. One injury is too much to bear,” the Health chief said.