The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Saturday said it did not receive any report of fires linked to firecrackers throughout the country during the December holiday season.
Firecracker-related injuries also went down by 85 percent compared to the same period the previous year. Only 50 people were injured for firecracker use from December 21, 2020, to January 1, compared to 340 in December 2019.
That number is 89 percent lower than the 5-year average from 2015 to 2019.
“Isang tagumpay ito hindi lamang sa ating kagawaran ngayong taon, kundi pati na rin sa pamilyang Pilipino na nanatiling ligtas sa kanilang tahanan, malayo sa COVID-19 at sa panganib ng sunog dulot ng mga paputok,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said.
Normally, in Metro Manila alone, there would be 10 or more firecracker-related fires.
Año said the drop-off could be attributed to the government's information campaign against the use of firecrackers and public cooperation.
He added that the Bureau of Fire Protection and the PNP personnel did the rounds in barangays until New Year’s Eve to remind the public to stop using firecrackers during festivities to avoid injuries and accidents.
The DILG chief said that nationwide there was a 52 percent-decrease in fires caused by other factors in December 2020. There were 593 incidents last month compared to 1,246 in the same period in 2019.
A total of 37 were injured, including two BFP personnel, while 10 died during the said fires involving mostly residential properties.
In the National Capital Region, a total of 4,417 fire-related incidents were reported from January 1 to December 31, 2020, 18.26 percent lower than the 5,404 tallied in the same period the previous year.
Meanwhile, Año said the DILG will make sure the police officer who allegedly indiscriminately fired her hand gun in Malabon during New Year’s festivities will be dismissed from service.
“It doesn’t matter if she was having an argument with her live-in partner or fired her hand gun to celebrate the New Year. What she did was against the law and she will be facing criminal and administrative sanctions and will be dismissed from the police service,” he said.
Año said his department will not tolerate such behavior.
“She does not belong in the police service,” he added.