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Fireworks-related injuries reach 804

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A 16-year-old male bystander from Payatas, Quezon City, loses his left eye due to kwitis

ANNUAL TRADITION. The Department of Health is expected to provide the final tally of fireworks-related injuries during the New Year revelry on January 5. Photo by Leanne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED)  – Fireworks-related injuries during the New Year celebrations reached 804 cases Thursday, January 2.

So far, the tally is about 10% lower than the 894 injuries recorded in the same period last year, Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag said in his Twitter account @erictayagsays

Below is breakdown of the injuries as of 6am Thursday:

Injuries 2012 information 2013 information
No. of fireworks injuries 867 793
No. of fireworks ingestion 2 2
No. of stray bullets 25 9
No. of Piccolo-related fireworks injuries no info 306 out of 793 cases
Source: Official Twitter of Dr. Eric Tayag, 6 am, January 2  



Among the victims of the New Year revelry is a 16-year-old male bystander from Payatas, Quezon City, who lost his left eye due to the firecracker kwitis. 

Earlier, a 3-month old baby from Ilocos Sur was killed by stray bullets. 

In 2013, two died after getting hit by stray bullets, triggering widespread public calls for stricter gun controls. Among those killed was 7-year-old Stephanie Nicole Ella.

DOH is expected to provide the final tally of New Year injuries on January 5. 

The Department of Health earlier launched the Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction or APIR campaign to discourage Filipinos, especially kids, from using firecrackers.

Alternative solution

On Thursday, Malacañang expressed its disappointment in the rising numbers.

“Every New Year’s Day, we are greeted with headlines on hundreds of injured persons as a result of firecracker explosions, as well as casualties from stray bullets. We believe that there should be an alternative to this unfortunate scenario,” Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said in a press briefing.

He said the Palace is exploring alternative solutions that could help curb the number of firecracker-related injuries such as the holding of community fireworks by local governments or civic organizations, and only allowing the production of safe firecrackers.

Coloma also cited the ban on firecrackers implemented by the local government units in the cities of Davao and Zamboanga. 

“We can ill afford to wait for another New Year’s Day celebration marred by similar injuries or deaths; hence, we call on all stakeholders to reach a common stand on safer alternatives for celebrating New Year’s Day through local ordinances or enactment or amendment of existing national laws.”

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