#IwasPaputok: 70 firecracker-related injuries as of Dec 27
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) said 70 firecracker-related injuries have been recorded in the country, so far.
The DOH began monitoring firecracker-related injuries as part of the #IwasPaputok campaign on December 22.
In a news briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday, December 27, Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo said this year's tally is "much, much lower than the figures" last year.
"In 2015, as of this date, the same period last year, we had 124 cases. But as of today, we have received report that we only have 70," he said.
Of the 70 cases, 69 are blast injuries from firecrackers while one is considered a case of ingestion.
Bayugo said half of the blast injuries are in Metro Manila and more than half are caused by illegal firecrackers such as the piccolo. The piccolo has been the leading cause of firecracker-related injuries for years.
One injured in Samar had to have an amputation.
"It involves the right, 4 digits of the right hand. There was amputation that was done but so far no deaths were reported and we hope to see less and less cases," Bayugo said.
"We're praying that we'll see less cases and no more deaths, no more injuries, no more amputation, so that everybody will be having a really prosperous and happy New Year," he added.
Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial earlier encouraged Filipinos to use "safe merry-making instruments and alternative noise-makers" to usher in 2017.
Last year, the DOH recorded a total of 932 firecracker-related injuries between December 21, 2015 and January 5, 2016. There was also one death due to massive injuries from an exploding Goodbye Philippines.
Eventual ban on firecrackers?
The proposed executive order (EO) that would limit the use and possession of firecrackers or pyrotechnic devices in the country has been put on hold until 2017.
This way, government can discuss the impact of the proposal on the fireworks industry while finding practical ways to impose the ban.
"Medyo late na daw 'yung implementation kung isasagawa [ngayon] because there are already industries that have prepared and... iyon malulugi din naman sila completely kung [may ban]," Bayugo explained on Tuesday.
(It's too late to implement the ban now because there are already industries that have prepared and they'll suffer revenue losses if there'll be a ban.)
"But we are still advocating to the local governments if they can set up community fireworks displays and request or appeal to the community na huwag munang magpaputok (not to use firecrackers) individually," he added.
The proposed EO wants to achieve Davao City's injury-free status. The city, President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown, has prohibited the manufacture, sale, distribution, possession, or use of firecrackers or pyrotechnic devices since 2002. – Rappler.com