MANILA, Philippines – With 5 days to go before the New Year kicks in, Malacañang asked Filipinos to use noisemakers instead of firecrackers in their celebrations.
“Muli nating pinaaalalahanan ang mga kababayan, lalo’t higit ang mga magulang, na bantayan ang kanilang mga anak sa paggamit ng mga paputok at himukin silang gumamit ng mga alternatibo at ligtas na pamamaraan ng pag-iingay,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a dzRB interview on Sunday, December 27.
(We again remind Filipinos, especially the parents, to keep their children from using firecrackers and encourage them to use alternative and safe ways of noisemaking.)
In line with the health department’s anti-firecrackers campaign, Coloma encouraged street parties and the use of the following noisemakers: torotot (horn), musika (music), and kaldero (pot).
Code white alert has been raised since Monday, December 21, for all hospitals, regional offices, and facilities nationwide that are retained by the Department of Health (DOH). This means medical personnel in DOH facilities will be on call to attend to patients any time.
But even 5 days before Christmas, the department has already recorded at least 10 firecracker-related injuries all over the country.
Most of the victims (8 out of 10) are children aged 5 to 12 years old. Piccolo – a firecracker considered illegal under Republic Act Number 7183 – remains the main cause of injuries.
The department is working with other government agencies – such as the Philippine National Police, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Trade and Industry – to curb the sale of illegal firecrackers that can harm people, especially children.
“Hangga’t maaari, huwag nating bigyan at pagamitin ng paputok ang mga bata. Siguraduhin na hindi mamumulot ng paputok ang mga bata. Ang tetano ay nakamamatay at ito ay nakukuha sa impeksiyon na dulot ng sugat mula sa paputok,” Health Secretary Janette Garin earlier said.
(As much as possible, let us neither give our children nor let them use firecrackers. Make sure they do not pick up firecrackers as well. Tetanus is deadly and one can get it through infection caused by firecracker-related wounds.)
When treating injuries caused by firecrackers, a patient’s wounds must first be immediately washed with clean running water until all visible dirt and gunpowder residue is removed, the health department said.
Bring the patient to the nearest health facility for proper medical treatment. – Jee Y. Geronimo/Rappler.com
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