Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte has found an ally in the Miss Philippines Earth beauty pageant after one of its founders has expressed support for a looming plan to prohibit firecrackers nationwide, especially during New Year revelry.
“I really hate it especially on New Year’s Eve. Because of the firecrackers, we get sick and we have pollution afterwards. Worse, there are casualties and fire incidents because of firecrackers,” said Lorraine E. Schuck, Executive Vice President of Carousel Productions, organizer of the environment-driven annual beauty contest, during the pageant’s press presentation at a hotel in Manila last Monday.
In December 2015, Duterte said that he would ban firecrackers nationwide to keep the holiday celebration safe if elected president.
Duterte then said that firecracker factories would not be shutdown but suggested that manufacturers export them instead of selling them in the country.
“Sana it will be implemented, Saludo ako sa kanya,” said Schuck, who was born and raised in Mindanao.
In 2010, the Miss Earth Foundation partnered with the EcoWaste Coalition in calling the Department of Health to sway the public to drop firecrackers in favor of safe and emission-free noise makers.
Reports said that one person died while more than 800 others were injured, mostly due to firecracker accidents, when they used dangerous devices to welcome the New Year in January.
Schuck also said that the Miss Earth Foundation totally supports the environmental programs of Duterte.
“President Duterte actively campaigns for the protection of our environment. We and the girls support him for that.
But we also support his other programs against corruption and drugs. We will, because we can,” she said.