#IwasPaputok: Firecracker-related injuries rise to 90

Mara Cepeda
#IwasPaputok: Firecracker-related injuries rise to 90
Around 50% of firecracker-related injuries as of December 28 were recorded in Metro Manila, the Department of Health says

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has recorded at least 90 firecracker-related injuries in the country as of Wednesday, December 28.

The department has been monitoring firecracker-related injuries since December 22 as part of its #IwasPaputok campaign

DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial said in a press conference that of the 90 cases, 89 are blast injuries from firecrackers while one is considered a case of ingestion. She said 58% of the cases were caused by the illegal piccolo firecracker.  

In terms of area, most of the injuries have been recorded in Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR).

“No less than 45 of the 89 cases or 50% of all cases comes from NCR. The next region with the highest is Region 6 with 10% or 11% of the total cases and followed by CALABARZON or Region 4-A with 10% of the cases,” said Ubial.

“Now, in the National Capital Region, Manila City leads the list with the most number of injuries or 40% of the total NCR injury list, followed by Quezon City with 27%, and 3rd is Mandaluyong City,” she added. 

In Region 6 or Western Visayas, 30% of the reported firecracker injuries come from Bacolod, 20% from Bago City, and 20% from Iloilo City.  

“We call on the public and our local government partners, instead of firecrackers, the public is encouraged to use safe merrymaking instruments, alternative noise makers such as torotot (horn), car horns, and by playing loud music or street parties and street dancing,” Ubial said. 

The DOH chief also urged local government units to organize community fireworks display to minimize household or individual use of firecrackers.  

As of Wednesday, Ubial said they have already talked to officials from Marikina City, who said the city would likely hold a community fireworks display as its residents welcomes 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.

The DOH has already submitted a draft Executive Order (EO) to President Rodrigo Duterte that seeks a shift from individual household use of firecrackers to a community fireworks display. 

Duterte, however, deferred signing the after some industry groups lobbied against it. (READ: No nationwide firecracker ban by New Year’s Eve)

“The EO has undergone complete staff work and was reviewed by Malacañang already, but other Cabinet members were saying that we will implement it or the President will sign it by next year because of the very late proposal that came from the DOH,” said Ubial. 

“So the industry has already produced the fireworks and firecrackers that it would be difficult if these will be stored, so it will be dangerous also,” she added. – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.