Philippines braces for bloody New Year celebrations

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INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines braced Sunday for its annual orgy of New Year’s Eve merrymaking which leaves hundreds of people maimed by firecrackers or shot by bullets fired in the air by armed revellers.

A total of 164 people have been injured by fireworks since the Christmas weekend, half of them in Metro Manila, while one person was wounded by a stray bullet, according to the Department of Health.

President Benigno Aquino interrupted his Christmas holidays to meet with emergency services officials on government preparations for mass casualties, fires, and other potential mayhem from the often drunken revelry.

The government reported 454 firecracker-related injuries from hospitals across the country as 2012 was welcomed, many of them children and drunk adults who ignored government warnings.

At a meeting aired on national television Sunday, Aquino expressed concern over the sale of oversized firecrackers, and chastised officials at the meeting for failing to shut down factories and retailers making and selling them.

“If you tossed that onto the road, would it damage the road as well?” he asked, interrupting a slide show on a frame that dealt with a giant 58-square-centimeter (nine-square-inch) firecracker called “Goodbye Philippines”.

Aquino was told it would, before saying that the noisy celebrations were therefore also responsible for damaging government property.

Individual fireworks containing not more than 0.2 grams (0.007 ounces) of explosive material are allowed by law, but police told the meeting they had seized P11.9 million ($29,000) worth of illegal fireworks.

“Please direct the (local government units) to explain how such a store can be selling regulated items without the necessary permits,” an apparently irritated Aquino said.

“How come we’re filing cases (for the illegal sale of firecrackers) but we’ve not been shutting down the stores selling them?” the president added.

The fire services representative at the meeting, metropolitan Manila fire inspector Renato Marcial, said firecrackers have triggered three blazes so far in the current Christmas holidays, compared to eight last year.

“The Bureau of Fire Protection would like to appeal for a ban on firecrackers,” Marcial told Aquino.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • sowhatifimfilipino

    The headline’s scary…

    • patriotic_act

      indeed.. its like we know what will happen but we did nothing.. its a worthless case

  • patriotic_act

    this only shows the brazen qualities of both the people and the government.. the people for ignoring government warnings and prohibitions and the government for tolerating this people and not enforcing the law unto them.

    why? is it because it is already a tradition? I know way back that nobody fires these firecrackers until the eve of the 31st of december.. right now you can see people firing it on the streets as early as november! even without an occasion.

    these is what we call “lack of discipline” and “lack of respect for the law” and if the government continues to tolerate these then we are not going to move forward.. more and more people are going to get hurt everytime of this year.

    in Manila they are proposing a jailterm for parents of children who will use and get hurt by firecrackers.. 

    I will support that

  • Fulpol

    BS Aquino III wanted to ban firecrackers, use just a day every year..

    but why he can’t ban cigarette manufacturing?

     

  • Fulpol

    BS Aquino III will heavily tax firecrackers to discourage people in using it… just like cigarette..

    • otepau68

      Nothing wrong in that. Maximising revenue while minimising both death & injury is a sound policy with a big bang ;-). 

      • wawa2172

         Boom…agree with you otepau68.

    • http://ourleftfoot.blogspot.com/ Tristanism

      BAKIT ALL CAPS ANG NASUSULAT KO???

  • wawa2172

    Ban the firecrackers Noy, it do more harm than good. Besides I see nothing of Filipino values in firecrackers but its more of Chinese. In am not anti-chinese because I am a fil-chinese. My gf and now my wife,  also a tsinay invited me to spend chinese new year in Hongkong then. Daming paputok duon but not as deadly compared to what we have in Pinas. In the morning wala kang maririnig na putol na mga daliri or nasabugan. Noy is right about firecrackers and like cigarettes and wine it must be heavily tax to properly regulate it. Hindi mamamatay ang negosyo sa Bulacan kung mawawala ang firecracker manufacturing. Mas malaki ang ginagasto nang gobyerno natin sa pag papagamot nang mga nasabugan at napakalaking perwisyo pag nag karoon nang namatay at nasunugan dahil sa paputok. whee

  • dodong1

    ILANG NEW YEAR PA ANG MAG DARAAN KUNG ANG PANANAW NG GANUN PARIN WALA PARIN MAG BABAGO SA PILIPINAS..BULOK NA PARAAN BULOK NA DAAN…AKO AY UMAASA NA SANA SA TANANG NG BUHAY MERON AKONG MARARANASAN MAN LANG NA BAGONG PAG BABAGO NAG PILIPINAS…..SANA SANA AT UMAASA…

    • http://ourleftfoot.blogspot.com/ Tristanism

      SIRA NA NAMAN ANG KEYBOARD MO???

      • dodong1

        oo sira gaya mo…lmao

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VKXUKFOID3EPNFDJRKSG2TQ5IE Rex

    Ban these idiots from roaming the streets during new year’s eve.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/GABFLY7XBVVW3AVK3J3WHPGDMY Prof. Estong

    The injuries well describes how many mindless men carry guns in the Philippines. Yet there still is no gun ban law, while countries around it are all gunless society, where people can live and sleep without such mindless men in their society. We walk the streets of Jakarta, Singapore and Ho Chi Ming and feel so safe than in Metro Manila. This should instead be the concern of the Catholic church. Tourist shun Manila and we Pinoys ourselves do not feel safe after dark.

  • freedom of navigation

    Okay lang sana kung watusi at iba pang hindi nakakakapinsala.

  • speaksoftlylove

    To those androids and robots who still remain mesmerized by the virtual
    reality created by the powers that be, and that includes what has been
    happening in the world including the Philippines and it’s government.
    Google the websites of disclosure project and sirius neverendinglight.
    Wake up from that deep slumber and experience your own conscious death,
    resurrection, and second coming. After all, this is what 12.21.12 is all
    about. Read the full text of the Executive Briefing for Pres. Obama and
    the US Congress and find out why these androids and robots keep on
    ridiculing the truth as pigments of fertile imagination portrayed in
    movies. Be part of history.

  • batangsulpok

    Kailangang papag-bayarin sa ospital ang mga nasugatan sa paputok, di yun libre, kaya namimihasa dahil kinokonsente, alam ng bawal, sige pa rin.

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