The Department of Health (DOH) is poised to push for a comprehensive ban on firecrackers and a partial ban on fireworks. This was disclosed by acting Health Secretary Janette Garin at a recently held press briefing.
Garin said that the decision comes on the heels of reports that nearly 860 people were injured by firecrackers during the celebration of the New Year’s Eve. She added that the consensus to push for a ban was reached in a string of meetings between the DOH and officials of the Philippine National Police, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
“We will recommend a total ban on firecrackers all over the country and partial ban on fireworks. The fireworks display will have to be handled only by pyrotechnicians in a public area,” Garin said.
She noted that those involved in the firecracker industry should focus on fireworks, instead, in order to keep their livelihood afloat.
“So as not to displace the industry, we also encourage the local government units to support public fireworks display together with the private sector,” she added.
Based on the DOH monitoring of 50 hospitals, from December 21, 2014 to January 5, there were a total of 840 firecracker-related injuries and seven cases of fireworks ingestion.
Fifty-one of the 840 cases led to limb amputation, while 146 were injuries to the eye.
There were also thirteen cases of injuries caused by stray bullets.