After fewer firecracker injuries welcoming 2018, Palace wants zero case for 2019

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 01 2018 05:36 PM

A child reacts as he gets treatment at the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center in Manila early hours of 01 January 2018. Victims of stray bullets, stabbing, and illegal firecrackers were among the patients brought to the hospital on this new year’s celebration. George Calvelo, ABS CBN News

Malacañang welcomed Monday the substantial decrease in the number of firecracker-related injuries in New Year’s Eve revelries compared to previous year's record.

Government is hoping there would be no casualties and injuries at all in next year’s celebrations, touting the benefits of President Rodrigo Duterte’s executive order which limited the use of firecrackers in revelries, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. in a statement. 

From Dec. 21, 2017 to Jan. 1, 2018, the Department of Health recorded 191 firecracker injuries, a "substantial" decrease from the previous year, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

The DOH least year reported 604 injuries from Dec. 21, 2016 to Jan 2, 2017.

"Overall, the government's campaign against fireworks has reduced the number of injuries," Duque III told reporters. 

Duterte's executive order restricting the use of firecrackers to community zones was implemented for the first time over the weekend.

In an interview on DZMM, Roque said Duterte’s executive order did not make this year’s New Year’s Eve revelries any less happy.

“Napatunayan natin na bagama’t napakalaking bawas po ang paputok nitong Bagong Taon, ay patuloy pa rin naman naging maligaya ang ating sambayanan. Oh, so hindi kinakailangan talagang magpaputol ng daliri, ng kamay… mawalan ng mata para tayo po’y magsaya sa pagpasok ng bagong taon. Napatunayan po natin ‘yan nitong bagong taon na ‘to,” he said.

“At dahil po diyan eh tingin ko naman, eh mas masaya nga itong naging bagong taon na ito ‘no, dahil pagdating ng alas-12 na walang paputok… eh lahat lang tayo’y sumisigaw ng ‘Happy New Year,’ at naghahalikan, nag-aakapan.”

There was one stray bullet incident, but no reported deaths or cases of firecracker ingestion, officials said.

Piccolo was the top cause of injuries, accounting for 49 percent of cases, followed by "kuwitis" or rocket at 7 percent. Fountain and "boga" or improvised cannons each accounted for 5 percent, Duque said.

Firecracker-related amputations dropped to 7 cases in 2017 from 19 incidents in the previous year, he said.

Most of the cases were from the National Capital Region that accounted for 115, followed by Western Visayas with 15. Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and the Bicol region each reported 13 cases, Duque said.

Eighty-four percent of the victims were males aged between 11 months and 96 years old, he added.

Meanwhile, Roque welcomed the latest Social Weather Stations survey which shoed that "a new all-time high 96 percent of adult Filipinos are entering 2018 with hope rather than with fear.”

“Tama naman tayong umasa dahil itong taon na nakalipas, nakita natin napakadaming trahedya, may mga bagyo, may mga giyera… pero lahat po ‘yan ay nakabangon muli ang Pilipino, taas-noo at humaharap nang may pag-asa sa bagong taon,” he said.

“So tingin ko po, ‘yan po talaga ay isang kaparte na ng ating kultura, ng ating personalidad na iyong mga Pilipino, ang kakayahan na bumangon, umasa at umusong ‘no sa mga bagong paghamon na darating pa.”