MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) is urging the public to follow rules on using firecrackers this coming holiday season to avoid injuries.
Hoping for zero firecracker-related injuries for the coming holidays, the DOH, Philippine National Police, and the Bureau of Fire Protection launched Oplan: Iwas Paputok on Monday.
Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo said an executive order limiting the use of firecrackers in the country is already in effect, and violators will be apprehended.
Executive Order no. 28, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last June of this year, confines the use of firecrackers to "community fireworks display."
This means using firecrackers outside of designated areas is prohibited, said Supt. Roland Vilela, acting chief of the police's Explosive Management Division Firearms and Explosive Office.
A total of 630 firecracker-related injuries were recorded from December 21, 2016 to January 5, 2017, data from the DOH show. There were no firecracker-related deaths recorded, the report adds.
The authorities said they understand that limiting firecracker use goes against Filipino tradition but they are hoping the people will embrace the change to achieve zero casualties on New Year's eve.