CHICAGO – If a picture is worth one thousand words, a video clip must be worth thousands, if not tens of thousands, of words.
As people have short memory, the Philippine government headed by President Rody Duterte should be more creative in its efforts to discourage revelers from exploding firecrackers to welcome the New Year.
It has been a normal phenomenon that dozens of people are killed and hundreds are injured while exploding pyrotechnics. It is as if the casualties came about as a result of a major typhoon. The good thing about this is that casualties during explosion of firecrackers can be stopped by man. while man cannot control typhoons.
Celebrating the coming of New Year with a bang is said to be one of the exports of the Chinese to the Philippines. Past Philippine governments have not been remiss in reminding the people to stop the deadly tradition of exploding firecrackers, but people have always been ignoring the warning.
If President Duterte’s administration widely shows in theaters and on televisions as a PSA (public service announcement) a brief video clip of a powerful, chain-reaction explosion that ripped the fireworks market in Mexico on Dec. 21 and killed at least 35 people, I believe Filipinos would come to their senses.
The Mexico explosion should be shown as a dire warning even long after the New Year in much the same way that the government announces the deadline for the payment of income taxes.
Perhaps, the Philippine Congress could pass a law prohibiting the sale of firecrackers. If there are celebrations like New Year’s Eve or Philippine Independence Day, pyrotechnics should be exploded only by professional handlers, who have proper training for their safety.
Such law could provide training for firecrackers manufacturers so they could be engaged in other gainful occupations.
In the U.S., firecrackers are exploded during the Eve of Independence Day, not too much during the New Year’s Eve. But there are no reports of deaths or injuries because local governments hire professionals, who hold pyrotechnic shows on the eve of Independence Day.
Major U.S. cities would announce in advance fireworks displays in certain areas where residents would converge to watch the displays. For those, who could not make it to the fireworks displays, they are contented with watching the fireworks displays on television.
If New Year’s Eve celebration can be observed in a more meaningful way without anybody getting hurt, then it would be happiest New Year’s Eve celebration in the Philippines.
In the Philippines, even policemen and military soldiers would fire their guns into the air but often, the bullets that return to earth would also kill or injure people.
So it won’t hurt if policemen and soldiers would not fire their guns to welcome the New Year.
With the widespread killing of drug lords, drug dealers and drug addicts in the war on drugs by the Philippine government, dying or getting injured by exploding firecrackers makes no sense.
Let’s leave the explosion of firecrackers to the pro. Happy New Year to all!