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MANILA, Philippines – The number of firework-related incidents towards the 2013 New Year’s eve is the lowest in the past 5 years, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
Health Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa told reporters on Monday, December 31, that the number of cases this year has significantly dropped compared to previous years.
A total of 1,021 firework-related cases were recorded nationwide in 2011, while the number of cases as of December 30 this year only stood at 173.
“The intensity of fireworks is lesser this year. We saw that as there are less major injuries now,” Herbosa said, adding that they will come up with a complete report by January 5.
He credited this trend to the strict implementation of Republic Act 7183, which regulates the sale, manufacturing, distribution, and use of dangerous firecrackers. President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the police to shut down shops selling illegal fireworks and to file charges against those caught.
Yet Herbosa claimed that there still are some “pasaway” (stubborn) people who use dangerous and illegal firecrackers.
“Just dance Gangnam Style tonight, so that everyone will be happy and not spend the New Year in the emergency room,” he reminded.
Children, bystanders affected
Herbosa said that most of the cases recorded by DOH involve victims who are not really using firecrackers. He said that about 46% of all cases recorded involve children.
Also, among the victims are bystanders or those who are simply watching other people use firecrackers.
“To those who are using firecrackers, we hope you use them in non-crowded areas so that they won’t harm a lot,” Herbosa advised.
Hospitals are also monitoring victims of incidents other than firecracker injuries like accidents and violence.
Herbosa said that after the firecracker-packed midnight, hospitals usually receive victims of riots and vehicle accidents towards the morning.
These cases, he said, usually occur due to excessive drinking.
He added that doctors and other hospital personnel will be on duty until morning of January 1 to receive these victims. – Rappler.com