Malolos bishop opposes total firecracker ban

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Assorted firecrackers and fireworks are on display at a stall in Bocaue, Bulacan. (CBCPNews)

MANILA, Oct. 17, 2016— A Catholic bishop is not amenable to a possible government plan to ban firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

Bishop Jose Oliveros of Malolos said the government should focus instead on stricter safety measures since the use of fireworks is too tied to local culture.

“May be what is needed are stricter safety measures and for the government to ensure its implementation,” said the prelate.

Besides, he said, a major challenge is to find poor families working in the fireworks industry alternative sources of income.

“Many people in Bocaue and other parts of the Philippines would lose their source of income and way of living,” he said.

Calls to ban firecrackers loom after following an explosion at a fireworks store that claimed two lives and injured 24 others in Bocaue, Bulacan last week.

The Health department is also drafting an executive order that would limit the use and possession of firecrackers and fireworks.

President Rodrigo Duterte said he will consult the members of his Cabinet to study and decide on the matter.

Oliveros said what recently happened in Bocaue “was an unfortunate event” but a total ban on firecrackers must be studied carefully before implementation. (Roy Lagarde / CBCPNews) 

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