The country logged at least 52 firecracker-related injuries nationwide on New Year’s Eve yesterday, with a third of the cases due to “boga” or improvised cannon.
The Department of Health said the number was 30 percent higher compared to last year’s tally with only 40 cases.
“Boga, an illegal firework, was the most common cause of injury,” the DOH said in its report.
Most of the victims were also male, accounting for 87 percent or 45 cases.
The Philippine National Police, for its part, said it will not arrest users of pyrotechnic devices outside their residences during New Year’s Eve revelries.
“The PNP would like to clarify that we will not apprehend those who will be using pyrotechnics or pailaw outside their residences even if such areas are not identified by their respective local government units (LGUs) as designated areas for fireworks use and display,” Col. Redrico Maranan, PNP public information office chief, said in a statement on Saturday.
On Friday, National Capital Region Police Office chief Maj. Gen. Jonnel Estomo led the destruction of more than P700,000 worth of illegal firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices confiscated in line with “Ligtas Paskuhan 2022” operations.
“It is our fervent desire to at least minimize this recurrent perennial problem, if not to zero, firecracker-related injuries and fire incidents in Metro Manila. However, I am saddened that despite the clear and constant reminders which we have communicated with the people of Metro Manila using all forms of media available, there are those who disregarded this friendly reminder,” Estomo said in a separate statement.
Under Republic Act 7183, or the Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, Distribution and Use of Firecrackers and other Pyrotechnic Devices, a person caught manufacturing, selling, distributing or using illegal firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices will face a fine of P20,000 to P30,000, imprisonment of six months to one year, cancellation of license and business permit and confiscation of inventory stocks.
Estomo likewise warned commanders they would be relieved from their posts if they fail to prevent their personnel from firing their issued firearms.