MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday called on the public to use safe merrymaking instruments to welcome 2016.

In a press conference, Health Secretary Janette Garin appealed to local government units (LGUs) to help the new anti-firecracker campaign with the theme "Sa ingay walang sablay, sa paputok goodbye kamay" by banning the use of illegal firecrackers.

Garin said the health department will tie-up with the Department of Education (DepEd) to remind students to do away with the use of firecrackers.

"Karamihan po ng biktima ng paputok nitong nakaraang taon ay actually children age six to 15 years old," she said.

"At kaya po gagawin nating partner ang Department of Education so that the children will be reminded na hindi maging biktima sa paputok," she added.

DOH records show cases of firework-related injuries last year were 16 percent lower than 2013 figures.

"Makikiakibat din tayo sa [Philippine National Police] at sa local government units dahil ang nagiging sanhi po nito usually ay mga bawal na paputok," Garin said.