Thursday, December 28, 2006

‘Boga’ killing ’cracker industry

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — It isn’t just imported firecrackers that are easing out locally made fireworks from the market. An improvised cannon made from PVC pipes and fueled by denatured alcohol is coming in with a bang.

Local fireworks manufacturers in Bulacan are suffering from low sales due to the entry of the latest noisemaker, the locally made boga, an improvised pipe cannon.

The boga is raking in more cash than even smuggled firecrackers, just like the piccolo, the sales of which are also killing the local fireworks industry.

An official of the Philippine Pyrotechnics Manufacturers and Dealers Association Inc. (PPMDAI) said the new craze is gobbling up sales because of its tremendous popularity.

"When I saw it last year, I knew that this PVC-pipe cannon would be a smash hit this year and would give local manufacturers a run for their money," an industry source said.

Since the materials needed to mass-produce the boga are available locally, business-minded individuals suddenly hit a "gold-mine" because the locally made PVC-pipe cannon sells for P300 to P500 and is reusable.

The source said the entry of the boga into the market this Yuletide season has also perked up the sales of denatured alcohol — the main chemical needed to produce the "explosive bang" — and the igniters used for gas stoves, which is what triggers the explosion generated by the cannon.

However, local fireworks makers still believe that the sale of locally-made firecrackers will pick up before New Year’s Eve.
By Ric Sapnu - The Philippine Star

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