Welcome the New Year safely, as much noise with ‘Torotot’

By Freddie G. Lazaro

LAOAG CITY – Thinking of how to welcome the New Year with your hands in tact with as much noise? Why not use blow horns (torotot).

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has intensified its advocacy campaign on the use of blow or party horns for the safe observance of the Yuletide season here.

The information drive is part of the “Oplan: Iwas Paputok” being implemented by the BFP to eliminate fire incidents in Ilocos Norte. The campaign also aims to lessen firecracker-caused injuries.

Series of province-wide forums, press interviews and information caravan are set by the fire bureau to orient the local folks about the usefulness of horns in creating noise during Christmas and New Year’s Eve revelries.

Fire Senior Inspector Bonifacio Sacatrapos, the Laoag City fire marshall and concurrent Ilocos Norte provincial fire marshall, said that leaflets advising the prohibition of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices to mark Christmas Eve and the New Year’s Eve are being distributed to the public in their on-going caravan.

“Instead of using firecrackers, we urge the public to use torotot (horns) to avoid any untoward incidents while we are observing the Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve,” Sacatrapos said during the PIA’s weekly radio program: Pannakiuman, Isyu ken Aksyon.

He believed their all-out campaign against firecracker in the past two years had contributed to the reduction of fire incidents in the province during Yuletide season.

Based on BFP records, the province had only one fire incident last Christmas season and two in 2012.

The BFP, the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Health (DOH) are strictly implementing the provisions of the Republic Act (RA) 7183 or the so-called firecracker law to reduce firecracker use.

The law regulates the manufacture, distribution, sale, and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices as these contain chemicals that may cause respiratory problems and if mishandled, it can inflict serious injuries to human leading to fatality.

Some of the prohibited firecrackers cited under RA 7183 are piccolo; super lolo and atomic big triangulo; mother rockets; boga; big bawang; goodbye Philippines; “atomic bomb,” pla-pla and unlabelled firecrackers.

“Any persons caught manufacturing, selling, distributing and purchasing of the considered illegal firecrackers may be imprisoned from six months to a year, and may be slapped with a fine from P20,000 to P30,000,” Sacatrapos said.

To regulate the sale of firecrackers in the market, the issuance of business permit from his office is strictly observed, he said.

“On the spot inspection of the identified firecrackers’ market zone is being implemented to closely monitor and prevent the possible selling of hazardous fireworks,” he concluded. (MCA/Freddie G. Lazaro/PIA- 1 Ilocos Norte)

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