Toxic watchdog group BAN Toxics sounded the alarm over the selling of “Giant Piccolo” in the market. Piccolo has been marked as one of the prohibited firecrackers for the past years and is one of the main culprits of firecracker-related injury for kids.
In the recent market monitoring conducted by BT Patrollers over the weekend, the group had purchased another prohibited firecracker, the “giant piccolo” in the store near Divisoria Mall in Manila. With no proper labeling, the “Happy Flower” giant piccolo was sold for P200 pesos for a pack of 10 pieces.
To recall, BAN Toxics raised the alarm last November on the early selling of prohibited firecrackers, namely: Five STAR, Whistle Bomb, Giant Bawang, and Happy Ball. The organization also called the attention of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to initiate on-site inspection and confiscation of prohibited firecrackers in public markets.
According to the Department of Health (DOH) Fireworks-Related Injury Surveillance 2021, a total of 189 fireworks-related injuries were reported in 2021, 188 of which were due to fireworks and while the outlier was from a stray bullet. This was 54% higher compared to 2020 (123 cases) and 55% lower than the five-year average (416 cases) during the same time period.
“We call again the attention of PNP and DILG to step up and conduct on-site monitoring and confiscation of illegal and prohibited firecrackers as New Year’s Eve draws closer,” said Thony Dizon, Toxics Campaigner of BAN Toxics.
Executive Order No. 28 authorized the PNP and the local chief executives to promulgate necessary rules and regulations on firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices with their territorial jurisdiction in conformity with the national standards, rules and regulations.
To prevent firecracker-related injury especially among children, the group reminded the public to avoid spending money on toxic, waste, and pollution-driven firecrackers and fireworks. Instead, the public should promote and use alternative noise makers like shakers from old plastic containers, tambourine made out of used bottle caps, pots and pot lids, and maracas from recycled cans for a safer and healthy New Year’s celebration.
“We appeal to all vendors to stop selling any prohibited firecrackers, especially to children. We need to protect our kids from any toxic pollution from firecrackers and fireworks and prevent injuries during the holiday season,” BAN Toxics added.