Northern Mindanao

Northern Mindanao logs 17 fireworks-related injuries, the most in 7 years

Uriel Quilinguing

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Northern Mindanao logs 17 fireworks-related injuries, the most in 7 years

An alleged fireworks warehouse and manufacturing place exploded in a residential community in Sito Manggahan, Pulang Buhangin in Sta Maria, Bulacan on November 3, 2022, 10 people were hurt and taken to different hospitals. Police and fire inspectors are still investigating the cause of the explosion. Jire Carreon/Rappler

The injuries as of the end of 2023 is 70% more than those recorded in the same period the previous year

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) in Northern Mindanao tallied 17 fireworks-related injuries (FWRI) during Christmas and New Year revelries in the region, despite an inter-agency campaign against illegally-manufactured firecrackers and substandard pyrotechnics.

A briefer on January 1 from DOH in Northern Mindanao showed that the 17 FWRI from December 21 to December 31 was 70% more than that of the same period in 2022. It was the most injuries since 2016 when 28 persons were given medical care.

More than half–or 53% –of the 17 FWRI in the region were traced to “triangulo” blasts inflicting wounds and cuts on the hands and faces of five persons, and two other patients each from “kwitis” and “piccolo.”

These “varieties” have long been the list of banned firecrackers pursuant to Republic Act No. 7183 or the Fireworks Regulation Act of 1992.

On December 30, members of city government-created Task Group Firecrackers and Fireworks (TGFF) hauled assorted banned firecrackers and pyrotechnics without Product Standard (PS) stickers within the designated display area for fireworks at the Rodelsa Rotonda in Cagayan de Oro.

Jane Javier Docallos, city director of the Department of Interior and Local Government and TGFF head, said the seized fireworks, valued at P300,000, included banned “piccolo” and “OG” firecrackers, while most of pyrotechnics were imported. These, still in boxes, were found hidden in a grassy area and placed atop branches of a mango tree.

Docallos told reporters that not one of those, with special permits to sell firecrackers, came forward to claim what they seized. These, she said, would be stored at the Cagayan de Oro City Police headquarters for inventory and would be properly disposed, in due time.

Of the 17 FWRI incidents documented by DOH Northern Mindanao, four of the reported injuries were from Cagayan de Oro. Bukidnon has the most cases with eight, two each from Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental, and one from Iligan City.

The surveillance period of the DOH Northern Mindanao, through its Research, Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Disaster Response Unit (RESDRU) started on December 21, 2023 and will end on Saturday, January 6, 2024.

Earlier, Dr. Ellenietta Gamolo, DOH director for Northern Mindanao, released Regional Memorandum No. 2023-55, declaring a Code White Alert (CWA) effective during the said period for FWRI surveillance.

CWA means the DOH Northern Mindanao personnel, including development management officers, human resources for health, contract of service, DOH hospitals, medical health centers, and other health agencies “shall be on standby, on-call, and to report to the office immediately in case of emergency situation.” –

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