Palace satisfied with govt's anti-firecracker campaign

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 02 2015 04:00 PM | Updated as of Jan 03 2015 12:00 AM

MANILA - Malacañang is satisfied with government's campaign to discourage revelers from using firecrackers, noting a decline in the number of firecracker-related injuries during the New Year celebrations.

"Pansinin naman natin 'yung pagbawas doon sa overall number of injuries. Magbigay naman tayo ng kaunting kredito na nagkaroon din naman ng positibong epekto ito. Kaya nga lang, mas magiging epektibo kung talagang makikiisa na ang mga mamamayan at iiwas na talaga sa mapanganib na paputok lalo na 'yung pinagbabawal," Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said Friday.

Asked if it would support the reported recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH) for a total ban on firecrackers, the Palace said that it would have to be studied first.

"Hintayin po ang rekomendasyon ng DOH at tatalakayin po ito, kapag naihain na nila ito," Coloma said.

For now, the Palace urged the public to cooperate and heed government's call to avoid using firecrackers.

"Kailangan po talaga diyan 'yung kooperasyon ng mamamayan na nag-uumpisa sa kanilang mga tahanan at pamilya, at by extension, doon sa level ng barangay na pinapangasiwaan naman ng mga lokal na opisyal. Kapag nagtulung-tulong at nagpatupad ng disiplina, siguro malaki ang maibabawas kung hindi man matitigil na ang mga pangyayaring hindi kanais-nais," Coloma said.

Amid reports of injuries due to stray bullets, the Palace said that authorities continue to clamp down on loose weapons.

"Unang-una, inaayos pa rin 'yung rehistro dahil kung maaalala natin nagpalabas na ng bagong batas at ng bagong patakaran hinggil diyan dahil meron ngang nakaraang pag-aaral na nagsasabing aabot sa libo 'yung mga kwestyunableng rehistro ng mga sandata o ng baril. Kung 'yung sandata o baril na ginamit ay ni hindi rehistrado, mas mahirap matukoy kung saan nanggaling 'yung sinasabing stray bullets. Kaya 'yung regulation pa rin sa paggamit ng firearms ang dapat na pagtuunan ng pansin hinggil diyan," Coloma said.

"At kung mapapahigpit pa ng PNP 'yung kanilang isinasagawa katulad 'nung matagumpay na pagpapatupad 'nung 'Oplan Katok' noong 2013 midterm elections, maaaring makakuha tayo ng kongkretong resulta at improvement."

Meanwhile, Malacañang sees nothing irregular in the reporting of acting Health Secretary Janette Garin on the latest number of firecracker-related injuries.

In a text message, Coloma said that the figures have been factual.

"I am a recipient of daily updates from DOH on firecracker injury situation. Such reports have been factual and the assessment is being done on a daily as well as cumulative basis, then compared with previous year and past 5 year data. I have not noticed any irregularity in the manner of reporting," he said.