86 firecracker-related injuries as of December 31 – DOH

Mara Cepeda
86 firecracker-related injuries as of December 31 – DOH

LeAnne Jazul

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III says they are seeing a 'downward trend' in the number of cases, crediting the President's ban on firecracker use in private residences

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has recorded only 86 cases of firecracker-related injuries nationwide during the last 10 days of December. 

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Sunday, December 31 that there is a “downward trend” of injuries this year because of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order (EO) No. 38, which bans the public from using firecrackers and staging fireworks display at their private residences.  (READ: Locations of firecracker zones in Metro Manila for New Year’s Eve)

“Well, the trend speaks for itself… Our fireworks-related injuries are at 86, 130 cases lower when you compare that to the 5-year average or about 60% lower. And compared to last year, it’s 76 cases or 47% lower than 2016,” said Duque in Filipino. 

He inspected the emergency rooms of Jose R Reyes Memorial Medical Center and the Philippine Orthopedic Center in Manila as well as the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City to check their readiness to accept patients who will be injured due to the New Year’s Eve festivities.  

TOOLS. Several medical equipment found at the emergency room of Jose R Reyes Memorial Medical Center. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

The DOH chief guaranteed all government hospitals are fully equipped to handle any firecracker-related injuries. (READ: DOH targets zero firecracker injuries for New Year 2018)

“They have been told they’re on code white alert status. So that means they’re ready. All our human resources for health and their complements – the doctors, nurses, medical technologists, emergency room aids and attendants – they’re all capacitated to precisely respond to all forms of emergencies, primarily related to fireworks,” said Duque.

FULLY STOCKED. The stock room inside the hospital is filled to the brim for New Year's Eve. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

He also urged Filipinos who will get drunk due to their respective New Year’s Eve parties to stay put and avoid drunk driving.

“For those who will get drunk, don’t leave the house as much as possible. Just stay in your homes. Secondly, try not to get too drunk, because it will affect your cognitive functions,” Duque said. 

The DOH has not recorded any deaths nor injuries due to stray bullets so far.

Malacañang already urged Filipinos to follow EO 28 to minimize injuries this year. – 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.