DOH: Firecracker injuries rise to 46 since December 21

JC Gotinga
DOH: Firecracker injuries rise to 46 since December 21
The Department of Health says many of the injuries were caused by illegal firecrackers

MANILA, Philippines – The number of firecracker-related injuries reported by hospitals nationwide has risen to 46, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Sunday, December 29 – more than double the 22 cases it reported on December 27.

The figure is 64% lower than the 5-year average of 129 cases.

The cases were recorded between 6 am on December 21 and 5:59 am on Sunday. All were due to fireworks, and there were no reports of injuries from stray bullets or firework ingestion. No deaths were reported.

The victims’ ages ranged from 2 to 71 years old, and most of them – 37 or 80% – were males. Thirty-three of the victims had blast or burn injuries. Another one required amputation. Fourteen of them sustained eye injuries.

The victims were from Metro Manila (18), the Ilocos region (5), the Cagayan Valley (4), Calabarzon (4), the Bicol region (4), Mimaropa (1), Western Visayas (3), Central Visayas (3), the Davao region (1), and Soccskargen (3), based on reports from 57 of the 61 hospitals on the DOH’s watch list.

Many of the injuries (35) were caused by the illegal firecrackers piccolo and boga, and the prohibited 5-star. Some, however, involved the firecrackers called kwitis and luces, which are legal. 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) warned on Saturday that its officers would be patrolling areas where fireworks are sold, and would inspecting for illegal firecrackers.

The PNP identified the following firecrackers as illegal:

  • Piccolo
  • Watusi
  • Giant Whistle Bomb
  • Giant Bawang
  • Large Judas Belt
  • Super Lolo
  • Lolo Thunder
  • Atomic Bomb
  • Atomic Bomb Triangulo
  • Pillbox
  • Boga
  • Kwiton
  • Goodbye Earth
  • Goodbye Bading
  • Hello Colombia
  • Goodbye Philippines

Manufacturing, selling, distributing, or using illegal fireworks is punishable by imprisonment of 6 months to one year, and a fine of P20,000 to P30,000.

An order from President Rodrigo Duterte limits the use of fireworks to “communal displays” sanctioned by local governments to avoid accidents and injuries. – Rappler.com

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JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.