Firecracker-related injuries not declining
MANILA, Philippines -- The Department of Health (DOH) is planning to recommend a partial ban on firecrackers as the number of firecracker-related injuries has stopped declining over the last five years.
Health Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Dr. Eric Tayag said on Thursday that although firecracker-related injuries have decreased since the 1990s, the numbers were not significant.
"Malaki po ang binaba simula nung dekada 90 kaya lang limang taon na ngayon na 'di na bumababa ng husto. Para bang nagpa-plateau na kahit na anong gawin natin, wala nang ibababa pa," Tayag told radio dzMM.
"Kaya sa puntong ito, ang aming kalihim at kagawaran maaaring magmungkahi na ng ban sa mga fireworks sa mga susunod na taon," he added.
Tayag also said that in a survey they recently conducted, they found out that majority of the Filipinos want a fireworks ban in the country.
He said the DOH is set to conduct another poll, which they will post on their official website.
Latest data from the DOH show that 107 people, mostly children, sustained firecracker-related injuries in the country from December 21 until December 26.
Five children lost their fingers while 23 were injured in the eyes.
The DOH also reported a single case from a stray bullet.
While the number has declined from the 147 cases recorded in the same period last year, the Health department is still not complacent as 60 to 70 percent of the firecracker-related incidents happen on New Year's Eve.
The DOH is again appealing to the public not to use firecrackers. Tayag also reminded those who use firecrackers to always be mindful of the people around them.
He said 40 percent of the victims were actually not the ones who used the firecrackers.
"'Yung mga nagpapaputok 'di lang kayo ang madidisgrasya, pati na rin ang ibang tao kung sakaling mahagisan niyo."
"At huwag na huwag kayong mamumulot (ng paputok) dahil 'yung mga naputulan ng daliri ay 'yung mga namulot ng akala nila 'di pa nasisindihan," Tayag said.