Boga (noisemaker)

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The boga, also known as a PVC cannon, is a noisemaker popular with revellers celebrating the New Year in the Philippines. Use of the device has been banned by the Philippine government since 2006.[1]

Originating from the province of Cavite,[2] the device is made from a length of PVC pipe of substantial diameter mated to a toy gun. Denatured alcohol is squirted or sprayed into the pipe's breech end and ignited by the toy gun's trigger mechanism which is connected to a cigarette lighter or gas stove igniter.[3] The combination of air and alcohol in the pipe's enclosed space when ignited by a spark from the trigger mechanism causes the fuel-air mixture to combust, resulting in a loud, booming sound.

Ban and injuries[edit]

Health officials in the Philippines have repeatedly warned against use of the noisemaker, which they deem to be dangerous as its use carries a risk of blast or burn injury. For the 2006 New Year Celebrations, a ban was ordered on December 27 against the use of the devices. Officials cited a variety of possible injuries from use of the device, mostly involving delayed explosions to the facial region resulting in eye injury, among others. Post traumatic conjunctivitis was cited as one of the noted effects.[3]

Users of the device, in some cases children, tend to prematurely open the boga whenever it fails to fire, causing any delayed blasts to fire upon the unsuspecting user's face. Of 178 firecracker-related injuries recorded for the 2006 season (as of December 28) so far, eighteen percent were confirmed to have been caused by use of bogas.[4] In December 2007, officials from the local Department of Health maintained the ban on the devices, reminding the public with press releases, flyers and awareness campaigns.[1][3]

The PVC cannon is a prohibited weapon in NSW, Australia, along with other devices which are designed to propel or launch a bomb, grenade, rocket or missile by any means other than an explosive.[5]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b ""Bawal ang Boga", DOH says this holiday season". Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  2. ^ "Pinoys find another way to welcome the New Year". Manila Bulletin Online. 2005-12-31. Retrieved 2008-12-29. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c Santos, Tina (2006-12-27). "'Boga' may be in, but beware of consequences". Inquirer.net. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  4. ^ Crisostomo, Shiela (2006-12-29). "Metro Police Chief Orders Ban on PVC Cannons". Newsflash.org. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  5. ^ WEAPONS PROHIBITION ACT 1998 (NSW) Sched 1, s.2(3).