Fewer firecracker injuries this Christmas
Fewer firecracker injuries were recorded last Christmas Day compared with the number of cases reported in 2016, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Tuesday.
The DOH said it registered a total of 29 fireworks-related injuries (FWRI) from Dec. 21 until 6 a.m. on Tuesday.
“[These are] 81 cases or 74 percent lower than the previous five-year average (2012-2016) and 42 cases (59 percent) lower than the same time period last year,” the DOH said.
The latest victims—a 12-year-old boy from Talisay City, Negros Occidental, and a 62-year-old man from Quezon City—lost their fingers after lighting a whistle bomb.
The first case of blast injury with amputation, which was reported last Monday, involved a 29-year-old man from Basista, Pangasinan. He also lost his fingers after using “boga,” an illegal cannon-like noisemaker made of plastic pipe.
The DOH said many of the cases were from the National Capital Region (NCR). Of the 18 FWRI in the NCR, Manila had the most number of cases with 13, followed by Las Piñas City and Pasig City with two cases each, and Quezon City with one case.
“No deaths [were] reported. There was no reported case of fireworks ingestion and stray bullet injury,” the DOH said.
Majority of the injured were men (27 cases) and the victims’ age ranged from 11 to 62 years old.
“Piccolo,” an illegal firecracker, was responsible for the majority of the cases, the DOH said.
Earlier, Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo said that a 50-percent drop in the number of firecracker-related injuries was expected this holiday season because of the full implementation of the nationwide firecrackers ban.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police recorded 12 indiscriminate firing incidents nationwide in a span of over a week, most of them happening on Christmas Eve.
According to the PNP’s “Ligtas Paskuhan 2017” monitoring from Dec. 16 to 26, there were 12 cases of indiscriminate firing: five in Metro Manila; two each in Central Luzon and Central Visayas; and a case each in the Ilocos region, the Bicol region, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Three persons were injured in indiscriminate firing incidents, one each in NCR, Central Luzon and the Bicol region.
Seven persons, including two policemen and a barangay official, were arrested for firing their guns indiscriminately. Seven other persons, including a policeman and a former member of a civilian militia, remain at large.
Among those arrested were PO1 Arnold Gabriel Sabillo of Montalban Police Station; PO1 Marbin Jay Pagulayan of Malate Police Station in Manila, and Raquilly Bado, a councilor of Barangay Trenchera in Tayug town, Pangasinan.
Based on reports from the PNP public information office, Sabillo was arrested on Sgt. De Leon Street in Barangay Santolan, Pasig City, around 1 p.m. on Dec. 24 after he allegedly fired his 9 mm pistol several times for no reason.
Pagulayan was arrested around 2 a.m. on Christmas Day after he fired his 9 mm pistol to pacify his squabbling drinking buddies.
Bado was nabbed near his home past 10 p.m. on Dec. 24 after indiscriminately firing a .45 cal. pistol.
PO1 Saharani Maca-ayan, an officer assigned to the Ganassi Police Station in Lanao del Sur, remains at large after he was reported to have fired an M-16 automatic rifle on Dec. 20 along the national highway in Barangay Pamalian.
The PNP also recorded the arrest of six persons for illegal possession, use or sale of fire crackers in the Ilocos and Bicol regions.
Firecrackers also injured eight persons: four in Metro Manila; and one each in the Ilocos region, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.
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