Shun costly fireworks and firecrackers

THERE’S a need for us to heed the call of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje to shun the costly fireworks and firecrackers and simply switch to eco-friendly alternatives to celebrate Christmas and welcome the New Year.

By doing so, we can help sustain the gains made to improve the quality of air particularly in Metro Manila. Besides, according to the DENR chief, these traditional ways of marking the Christmas holidays after all are also taking their toll on the environment and human health, and could hurt efforts to cut down air pollution in the metropolis.

Ditching these costly fireworks and firecrackers which release polluting chemicals and metal particulates into the air, the marked improvement in Metro Manila’s air quality during the last three quarters would be preserved.

“We would like to reverse the trend of ending the old year and greeting the new one with thick smoke coming from firecrackers, and maintain our relative success in improving Metro Manila’s air quality,” Secretary Paje said.

Instead of firecrackers and fireworks, we can use practical and environment-friendly alternatives to mark Christmas and usher in 2013. We can do banging of basins, pots and pans; biking around the neighborhood with the bikes tailed with used cans; and torotot (horns); among others.

After all, people can suffer health problems from too much exposure to air pollution so why not heed Secretary Paje’s call, anyway it’s all for our own interest.

This is also the best time for all of us to practice the three Rs – reuse, reduce and recycle – to lessen the volume of garbage dumped in sanitary landfills that only emit methane gas.

The public must also be cautioned against indiscriminate waste disposal during the holiday season.

COOL’s 400 Graduates

An alternative computer learning program launched by Navotas City government late last year designed to promote basic computer skills and knowledge has already produced an initial 400 graduates, according to Mayor John Rey Tiangco.

He lauds the effort of Navotaas Hanapbuhay Center, which he heads, and the Public Employment and Services Office (PESO) which resulted in the success of the city government’s Computer Outreach Learning (COOL).

Regardless of age, Navoteño residents have been encouraged by the honorable mayor to undergo the free skills training which was accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

“It was important in today’s generation where using a computer is part of and/or necessary in one’s daily living and career,” the youthful city chief executive says.

The first barangays where COOL mobiles initiated the five-day hands-on training were Barangays Bangkulasi, Tanza, Tangos, North Bay Boulevard South, San Roque and North Bay Boulevard North.

Navotas’ COOL was adapted from the Computer on Wheels (COW) program of the Bagong Buhay Party-list headed by Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy.

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