Official: Palace ready to work with Congress to address firecracker-related injuries

By on January 3, 2015


Department of Health (DOH) Acting Secretary Janette L. Garin comforts 13-year-old Justin Garcia who is confined at the Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) in Quezon City after he was injured in a piccolo firecracker explosion. Dr. Garin visited the POC on New Year's Eve Wednesday (Dec. 31, 2014). (PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)
Department of Health (DOH) Acting Secretary Janette L. Garin comforts 13-year-old Justin Garcia who is confined at the Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC) in Quezon City after he was injured in a piccolo firecracker explosion. Dr. Garin visited the POC on New Year’s Eve Wednesday (Dec. 31, 2014). (PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)

MANILA — The Palace on Friday indicated its readiness to work with Congress in coming up with a law that will effectively address problems posed by the use of firecrackers, especially during New Year celebrations.

The Department of Health (DOH) has expressed concern that despite a drop in the total number of firecracker-related injuries, the number of those injured remains high, and the number of amputations, especially among children, has increased.

According to initial figures from the department and the police, three were killed and 354 were injured during the New Year revelry.

The Health Department has said it wants to ask the President to prioritize the passage of a bill imposing a total ban on the use of firecrackers in the country.

In a telephone interview, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. however said that the DOH’s proposal must be thoroughly studied because there are laws that regulate the use of firecrackers.

“At dahil ang patakaran ay inihahain at tinatalakay at pinagpapasyahan sa Kongreso, hihintayin natin ang magiging panukala ng mga mamababatas at handa namang makipagtulungan ang ehekutibo sa kanila sa pagbubuo ng isang mainam, katanggap-tanggap at epektibong batas,” Coloma said.

“Sinasabi lang natin sa ngayon ay kinakailangan ang pag-uugnayan at ang masusing pag-aaral para maiwasan na o mapigil na ‘yung mga bilang na nasasaktan at napipinsala dahil sa mga bawal na paputok.”

The current thrust of the government is to make New Year celebrations safe, Coloma said, noting that the people’s cooperation and discipline are necessary to avoid injuries.

The people, the local and national governments must work together to make communities safe during New Year celebrations, he added.

Coloma explained that simply proposing a total ban would not solve the problem unless the people and the government work together.

“Madaling sabihin ‘yung ‘total ban’ o ‘yung titigil na, pero sa tunay na paggawa ay kinakailangan pa rin ang sama-samang pagkilos at ang disiplina ng mga mamamayan para sumunod sa batas,” he said.

The Palace official nonetheless commended the campaign against the use of firecrackers that resulted in reduced number of injuries during the New Year celebration.