A worker prepares firecrackers for sale in a makeshift factory ahead of New Year celebrations in Bocaue, Bulacan province on Dec. 27, 2019.
AFP/Maria Tan
Firecracker-related injuries climb to 62 on New Year’s Eve
(Philstar.com) - December 31, 2019 - 4:39pm

MANILA, Philippines — Eight more individuals have been injured by firecracker blasts a few hours before New Year’s Day, bringing the injury count to 62.

The latest figure is 3% higher than the number of cases recorded from December 21 to 30, 2018 but it is 63% lower than the five-year average of 169 cases, Health secretary Francisco Duque III said in a press briefing Tuesday.

“We are expecting the worst but we are preparing the best possible way we can. There will be no complacency,” he said.

In an earlier interview on ABS-CBN News Channel, Duque said most of the victims are from Metro Manila. The capital region was followed by Ilocos region, Central Visayas, Cagayan Valley, CALABARZON and Bicol region.

Five victims of firecracker-related injuries have been treated in East Avenue Medical Center since December 24. One of them sustained burns from boga—an illegal firecracker.

In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police to confiscate and destroy prohibited fireworks. He also directed that the issuance of new licenses and permits is also suspended, pending the compliance review of those who have licenses and permits.

Earlier in 2017, he signed Executive Order 28, which limits the use of firecrackers to community fireworks display. — Gaea Katreena Cabico with a report from News5/Marie Ann Los Banos

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