19 firecracker injuries recorded in Cordillera
Health officials renewed their call for a total firecracker ban as firecracker-related cases in the Cordillera increased during the holiday revelries.
The Department of Health-Cordillera reported at least 19 cases of firecracker-related injuries in the region from Dec. 21, 2019 to Jan. 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 had zero cases.
No deaths and cases of firecracker ingestion and injuries due to stray bullet were recorded.
DOH-CAR Director Amelita Pangilinan said this year’s number of cases is higher than last year’s, which had 12 firecracker-related injuries.
Pangilinan said most of the injuries were caused by sanctioned or “legal” firecrackers such as kwitis, sparkles, and mother rocket; and some caused by illegal firecrackers such as boga, piccolo, whistle bomb, and five-star.
Most injuries recorded were minor burns and abrasions in the hands, eyes, head, and legs.
Pangilinan said a total ban on firecrackers should be ordered because related injuries occur 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.
The DOH-CAR has constantly advised the public to do away with the use of firecrackers and instead join community fireworks displays or use other safe merry/noise making devices to have a safe and injury-free Yuletide season.
City Health Services Officer Rowena Galpo reported that a six-year-old boy was the youngest victim of a cracker-related injury. The boy accidentally burned his face while playing with sparkles or luces.
Baguio attained zero firecracker-related injury during the New Year celebration in 2019 through campaigns on the prohibition of the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic materials by the different local government units, government agencies, and other sectors.
Galpo said the city has been recording a drop in firecracker-related injuries in previous years due to the ban on the sale of firecrackers in the city through the administrative orders of then mayor Mauricio Domogan.
She stressed there is a need to pass a law for the total ban on the manufacturing, sale, distribution and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic materials to ensure the safety of the public during the New Year revelry.
Galpo said she will recommend 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 chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council.
Baguio City Police Office Director Col. Allen Rae Co said the New Year celebration in the city was generally peaceful. – Redjie Cawis