After two years of zero firecracker-related incidents, health advocates are calling on the local government units in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) to pass an ordinance that will ban the individual use of firecrackers.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Dr. Donnabel Tubera-Panes of the Baguio City Health Office (CHO) said Baguio had zero injuries during the holidays in 2017 and 2018 but the recent holidays showed three cases, with two individual and active firecracker users.
There were three injuries this year, which involved males aged six to 61, who suffered injuries on the hands, feet, and eyes. Two of them being direct users who bought firecrackers in Bulacan.
That should be a trigger to the city council to pass the ordinance for the total ban on the individual use of firecrackers in the city, Tubera-Panes said.
She said they hope that the draft measure they passed to the health committee of the city council will be approved during the first quarter.
The proposed ordinance, when approved, will only allow the conduct of community fireworks display manned by trained pyrotechnicians and individual use of firecrackers will no longer be allowed.
Currently, the existing order related to firecrackers is an Administrative Order issued by former Mayor Mauricio Domogan some seven years ago banning the manufacture and sale of firecrackers and pyrotechnics in the city.
Tubera-Panes said based on the profile of the three persons, who were recorded injured during the holidays, they were direct users and used legal firecrackers they bought from legal sellers outside the city.
She said they are proposing a penalty of PHP5,000 for violators.
In the CAR, Karen Lonogan, senior health program officer of the Department of Health-CAR, said a total of 22 injuries were recorded in the region from the start of the surveillance on Dec. 21 until 8 a.m. on January 6.
Of the injured, nine were on the hands, eight on the head, five on the eyes and three on the legs. There were two amputations done.
Abra province had nine cases, Kalinga and Mountain Province had four each, Baguio had three and Benguet had two.
Apayao had one case last year and recorded zero injuries this year.
For two consecutive years, Ifugao province recorded zero firecracker-related incidents.
Lonogan said 16 of the injured persons were active users at their residences and 11 used legal firecrackers.
Topping the list of firecrackers used were kwitis (8), boga (6), piccolo (2), sparkles (2), fountain (1), whistle bomb (1), five-star (1), and mother rocket (1).
Source: Philippines News Agency