Firecracker injuries hit 760
(The Philippine Star) - January 3, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Firecracker-related injuries recorded in government hospitals have risen to 760, the Department of Health (DOH) reported yesterday.

This is nine percent lower than the number of injuries recorded during the same period last year. It is also 13 percent lower than the five-year average.

Of the total cases, 628 or 83 percent are males, with ages ranging from nine months to 78 years old.

More than half of the cases or 420 involve children less than 14 years.

A total of 464 people suffered hand injuries; 113, eye injuries; and 656, blast injuries, with 25 requiring amputation.

Majority or 71 percent of cases were active igniters and piccolo caused 45 percent of the injuries.

Metro Manila posted the biggest number of cases at 427.

No case of firecracker ingestion was reported.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Janette Garin wants Congress to pass a law banning the sale and use of firecrackers to minimize the high incidence of firecracker-related injuries.

 “There is really a need for a law to impose a total ban,” she said.

Garin said opposition from the firecracker industry has hampered the passage of the law.

“The industry has been claiming that a total ban meant loss of livelihood for many people from Bulacan, which has been famous for firecrackers,” she said. “We have to talk to some  legislators, but if we cannot pass it now we are back to zero.” 

A total ban is needed to put an end to the annual high incidence of firecracker-related injuries, Garin said.

On the other hand, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano wants the individual use of firecrackers banned and to allow aerial fireworks display in plazas and other similar places.

“So I do not see the conflict between discipline and people enjoying tradition but always there must be balance,” he told reporters in San Carlos City, Pangasinan.

Cayetano said when he was a child, the firecracker ban then was not followed. 

When the ban was removed, no regulation was implemented on how loud or noisy the firecrackers can be, he added.

Even children can buy and use them, Cayetano said.

 “So what happened was extremes,” he said.

Cayetano proposed that each town or city ban the individual use of firecrackers and designate common areas for fireworks displays.

 

ACIRC ALAN PETER CAYETANO CAYETANO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH GARIN HEALTH SECRETARY JANETTE GARIN INJURIES METRO MANILA NBSP SAN CARLOS CITY SO I
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