By Jun N. Aguirre
The Task Force Boracay is yet to discuss the appeal of the local government of Malay to allow a community fireworks display at this resort island.
Natividad Bernardino, head of the Boracay Inter Agency Rehabilitation Management Group (BIARMG) said that the proposal may be discussed anytime during task force meetings.
Last year, the task force disallowed the fireworks display. Bernardino said that fireworks are harmful to the environment of the fragile ecosystem of Boracay. Since the local government of Malay has filed an appeal, it will still depend on the task force head, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu if he will allow it,” Bernardino said.
Earlier, Malay Acting Mayor Floribar Bautista said prior to the appeal, he sought Governor Florencio Miraflores’ support. Miraflores according to Bautista, has supported him in his endeavor.
“Tourists and residents on Boracay have been craving for enjoyment during the New Year’s revelry. I hope that the task force would allow even for a community fireworks display to be hosted by the local government,” said Bautista.
According to Terrapass (a website on fireworks), fireworks cause extensive air pollution in a short amount of time, leaving metal particles, dangerous toxins, harmful chemicals and smoke in the air for hours and days. Some of the toxins never fully decompose or disintegrate, but rather hang around in the environment, poisoning all they come into contact with. In a fireworks display, those particles that fall to the ground (chemicals and actual physical pieces of waste) often contain propellant chemicals and colorants, which find their way into the soil and our water systems. Many of the raw materials used to create fireworks are mined from mountains, a destructive process that cuts down forests and destroys wildlife habitats. Leftover rock is discarded into valleys, blocking and polluting flowing streams.
On the other hand, those who have witnessed Boracay Island’s annual fireworks celebrations know that the fireworks are launched from barges hundreds of meters offshore, and due to the Amihan winds, debris do not reach the shore. Furthermore, divers have made it an annual commitment to do underwater cleaning of the waters along White Beach the day after the celebrations, while community volunteers and establishment owners likewise make it a point to cleanup along the beaches.