Total firecracker ban pushed as CAR records 19 fireworks-related injuries
BAGUIO CITY– Health officials renewed call for a total firecracker ban as firecracker related cases increased in the Cordillera region during the new year.
The Department of Health–Cordillera (DOH-CAR) reported at least 19 cases of firecracker-related injuries in the region from December 21, 2019 to January 3, 2020.
Abra recorded the most cases with eight while Kalinga, Mountain Province and Baguio City had three cases each and Benguet with two cases. Ifugao and Apayao recorded no case of fireworks -related injuries.
DOH-CAR Regional Director Dr. Amelita Pangilinan said that the firecracker-related injuries this year increased compared to the 12 cases recorded last year. Fortunately, no reported deaths, firework ingestion and stray bullet cases this time.
Pangilinan said that most of the cases were caused by legal fireworks and firecrackers such as kwitis, sparkles and mother rocket and illegal fireworks and firecrackers such as boga, piccolo and whistle bomb and 5 star. Most injuries recorded were minor burns and abrasions on the hands, eyes, head and legs.
In spite of the efforts of the DOH and other government agencies in prohibiting the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic materials during the New Year celebration, there were still cases of injuries thus the need for a total ban on fireworks materials and firecrackers, Pangilinan said.
In December last year, the DOH-CAR has constantly advised the public to do away with the use of fireworks and instead join community fireworks display or use other safe merry/noise making devices to have a safe and injury-free yuletide season.
In Baguio City, City Health Services Office Head Dr. Rowena Galpo reported that a six year-old boy was the youngest case of a firework-related injury. The boy accidentally burned his face while playing with sparkles or luces.
Last year the city attained the zero firework-related injury during the New Year celebration thru the efforts and campaigns on the prohibition of the use of fireworks and other pyrotechnic materials by the different local government units, other government agencies and other sectors.
Galpo said that the city has been recording a drop in fireworks related injuries and the substantial drop in previous years. This was attributed to the ban on the sale of firecrackers in the city thru the administrative orders of then mayor Mauricio Domogan.
She stressed that there is a need to pass a law for the total ban on the manufacturing, sale, distribution and use of fireworks and other pyrotechnic materials to ensure safety of each and every individuals during the New Year revelry.
Galpo said that she will be recommending to Mayor Benjamin Magalong to advocate for the total ban on the sale and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic materials in the city and the region being the chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council.
Meanwhile, Baguio City Police Office Director Col. Allen Rae Co said that the new year celebration in the city was generally peaceful. **JDP/RMC- PIA CAR