Follow firecracker law to avoid injuries, says Malacañang

MANILA, Philippines – Ahead of New Year's eve celebrations, Malacañang reminded the public to observe the firecracker law.

On Saturday, December 30, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar urged the public to observe Executive Order No. 28 that regulates the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices in the country.

"Malapit na ang New Year’s Eve so kailangan nating sundin lang ‘yung Executive Order ng ating mahal na Pangulo na umiwas sa mga bawal na paputok," Andanar said in an interview on Radio Pilipinas. (New Year's Eve is coming so we need to follow the Executive Order of our President to avoid using illegal firecrackers.)

Andanar also reminded the public to follow the Philippine National Police (PNP) to prevent the risk of injuries.

Last June, President Rodrigo Duterte signed EO No. 28, banning private citizens from using firecrackers or staging their own firecracker displays at their homes. 

The EO also mandates "community fireworks displays" instead as designated places for the use of firecrackers under supervision of the PNP. (READ: Locations of firecracker zones in Metro Manila for New Year's Eve)

Despite the nationwide ban, at least 20 individuals were injured due to firecrackers in the metro, PNP National Capital Region Director Oscar Albayalde said on Thursday, December 28.

According to the Department of Health, a total of 630 fireworks-related injuries were recorded from December 21, 2016, to January 5, 2017.

The 630 cases were a decrease of 292 from the total cases during the same period 2015-2016. It was also 319 cases less than the average number from 2011 to 2015.–

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.