Tall order

THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez - The Freeman

The DOH has ended its tally of firecracker-related injuries for the year 2015, and there no longer is any reason to celebrate. As of January 5, a total of nine hundred twenty-nine injuries have been recorded, eight percent higher as compared to the same period last year. What is even more alarming is that there are more children injured this year. Thirty-three cases required amputation. And to no surprise, the piccolo is still the number one cause of the injuries. It is no wonder why there are more children injured. The piccolo lacks the big bang factor sought after by older persons, but attractive and enticing enough for the younger crowd. This is proof enough that many are still ignorant of the dangers of the firecracker, many are still foolish enough to buy and light them up, and authorities are not effective enough in stopping the sale of these illegal firecrackers. It is also a wake-up call not to celebrate too early, as people still get injured well into the new year.

A strong call to totally ban firecrackers is being made. It is obvious that the culture of blasting into the New Year is too ingrained in the psyche of Filipinos. So if firecrackers are available, legal or otherwise, people will still buy them. Many parents are also ineffective and incompetent in watching over their children when it comes to buying firecrackers. Authorities have to work on the businesses that bring these illegal products into the country. But being as lucrative as it is during the holidays, many look the other way. Nobody really cares what happens to the kids who eventually buy them and end up injured, disfigured or maimed.

Authorities have also established the identity of the person seen on video firing a rifle during the New Year's celebrations. At first, it was assumed that the incident occurred in the country, as the persons in the video were speaking Ilocano. But after an investigation into the incident, it was established that although the person hails from Pangasinan, he has since migrated to Guam, which is where the indiscriminate firing took place. The same person has been charged in Guam in 2006, also for indiscriminate firing. Then authorities in Guam should prosecute him for the stunt he pulled this year, along with his other buddies. Celebratory gunfire has no place in this part of the world.

We may still be a long way from a "zero casualty" rate during New Year's celebrations. Filipinos just cannot resist welcoming the new year with a bang, and then some. But authorities will really have to step up its game in preventing illegal firecrackers such as the piccolo from entering the country. Manufacturers should also be closely monitored. Firecrackers such as "Goodbye Philippines" which are practically explosives must be forbidden. Retailers must also be strictly monitored. I can understand that this is a tall order since I do not see the public cooperating, being the willing consumers of the said contraband. Perhaps it takes horrendous injuries to finally teach a lesson to some people. As for the guy who embraced a lit "Goodbye Philippines" firecracker, well, what else can be said about that?



vuukle comment












  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with