ROXAS CITY, Capiz—Health officials here are urging the public to celebrate the holidays without using firecrackers, as the Provincial Health Office reported that a nine-year-old boy from Pontevedra town was the first firecracker-related injury here, dashing its hopes of a zero-incident record for 2016.
The active surveillance of firecracker-related and stray bullet injuries by the PHO started last Dec. 21 and will end on Jan. 5, 2017.
Ayr Altavas, Information Officer of the PHO, said there are many ways to meaningfully celebrate Christmas and New Year. “We want the people to be always injury-free, especially due to the use of firecrackers this Yuletide season,” he said.
Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial has called on the public to use safe merry-making instruments and alternative noise-makers such as horns, drums and cymbals, or by playing loud music instead of using firecrackers.
Record from the DoH last year showed there were 932 cases injuries nationwide from Dec. 21, 2015 to Jan. 5, 2016, eight percent higher compared to the 860 recorded injuries in 2014.
Of the reported injuries, 920 were due to fireworks, 10 incidents were from stray bullets, and two cases were firecracker ingestion, the DOH said. One man died due to massive injuries from an exploding “Goodbye Philippines” firecracker last year.