Tugonon, DOH chief dance Gangnam Style for anti-firecracker drive
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - December 28, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Miss Universe 1st runner-up Janine Tugonon danced with Health Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag to the tune of  “Gangnam Style” at Liwasang Balagtas in Pandacan, Manila yesterday to drum up the government’s anti-firecracker campaign.

Health and environmental campaigners from the government and civil society groups also marched in a parade in Pandacan  against the use of firecrackers to revel the New Year.

Leading the “Ligtas Salubong 2013 sa Komunidad” parade were Health Secretary Enrique Ona, Undersecretary Ted Herbosa and Tayag; Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and EcoWaste Coalition’s Aileen Lucero.

Marchers played the ukelele and tooted horns from the Sto. Niño de Pandacan Parish Church to Liwasang Balagtas.

Pandacan was chosen for the campaign as firecrackers are regulated in the district, where the oil depots are located.

Ona said the parade was intended to create awareness that other noise-making devices can be used to usher in the new year.

“There has been a decrease in cases compared to last year, but if we look at the records over the last five years, it’s still the same,” he said. “So I think what we are doing may really be not enough. We have to do more, maybe more drastic in terms of change of culture, or the way we celebrate our holidays.”

Ona said he was alarmed over the rising number of children getting injured from firecrackers, four days before New Year’s Eve.

“The protection of our children and people against injury and harm caused by firecrackers is a shared responsibility,” he said.

“We all need to act to reverse this unacceptable practice of exploding firecrackers to usher in the New Year which has maimed and even claimed the lives of many people. Let’s safely welcome the New Year without paputok-related injuries, fires, waste and toxic fumes.”

The Injury Registry for the Department of Health’s “Iwas Paputok” campaign showed the number of injuries from fireworks and stray bullets rose to 108 as of 6 a.m. of Dec. 27.

This is 16 cases or 13 percent lower than the previous average in 2007 to 2011 and 39 cases or 26 percent lower than the same period last year.

One of the new cases is a 50-year-old man from Pasay City whose middle and ring fingers in his left hand were severed when he grabbed a firecracker that his friend had ignited while they were on a drinking spree.

The registry showed that fireworks caused 107 of the 108 cases, with one case due to stray bullet.

Ninety-three of the cases were males with ages ranging  from nine months to 58 years.

Piccolo accounted for half of the cases, followed by kwitis with 11 cases, five-star with 10 cases.

Metro Manila accounted for 40 cases followed by Western Visayas with 13, Calabarzon and Zamboanga Peninsula with seven each. 

 

AILEEN LUCERO CALABARZON AND ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA CASES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH GANGNAM STYLE HEALTH ASSISTANT SECRETARY ERIC TAYAG HEALTH SECRETARY ENRIQUE ONA LIWASANG BALAGTAS NEW YEAR PANDACAN YEAR
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