MANILA – President Benigno Aquino III is appealing to all Filipinos to refrain from using firecrackers during the New Year's Eve celebrations.
In the latter part of his New Year's message, Aquino noted the effects of using firecrackers to the environment and to one's health.
''Mga Boss, bago ako magtapos may pakiusap sana ako sa inyo. Sana naman iwasan na natin ang pagpapaputok ngayong Bagong Taon. Isipin natin ang naidudulot nito sa ating kapawa at kapaligiran. Nariyan ang kalat at makapal na usok na nagbubungsod ng matinding polusyon pati na ang malalakas na ingay na maaring makapinsala sa pandinig ng iba,'' he said.
''Higit sa lahat, nagdudulot din ito ng peligro sa ating mga kababayan na kung tutuusin ay hindi naman kailangan. Pagtuunan na lang sana natin ng atensyon ang ating mga mahal sa buhay dahil alam natin sila naman ang tunay na dahilan kung bakit tayo nagpapasalamat at nagdiriwang."
The Department of Health said 162 firecracker-related injuries have been reported as of 6 a.m. Tuesday. It said this is 67 cases (29%) lower than the five-year average during 2009-2013.
The latest figure is also 113 cases (41%) lower compared to the same period last year.
The DOH said 160 of the cases were blast injuries, while the remaining two were due to firecracker ingestion.
Fifty-six (35%) of the victims are children aged 10 and below. Of the total number of victims, 138 (86%) are males.
Seventy-one (44%) of the cases were reported in Metro Manila.
The DOH said 6 victims had to be amputated, while 25 sustained eye injuries.
Banned firecracker Piccolo remains the most dangerous, as this type of firecracker caused 113 (70%) of the injuries.