THE Department of Health (DOH) reported on Friday a total of 116 firecracker-related injuries since December 21, with Metro Manila accounting for more than half of the cases.
The figure was 88 cases or 43 percent lower than the five-year average from 2011 to 2015, and 71 cases or 38 percent lower than in the same period last year, the department said.
Metro Manila ranked first among the regions with 63 cases (54 percent). Manila alone had 27 cases, followed by Quezon City with 18. Mandaluyong City was third in the list with five.
Of the total, 108 cases involved males, while 74 were aged 15 and below. Seventy-six suffered hand injuries, while 21 suffered eye injuries.
As in last year, the banned “piccolo” firecracker was still the No. 1 cause of injuries, with 69 percent of those taken to hospitals for firecracker-related injuries admitting to using the illegal firecracker.
The DOH advised the public that wounds caused by firecracker explosions must be immediately washed with running water to remove all visible residues. The injured person must be brought to the nearest hospital afterwards.
On Friday, the EcoWaste group held a parade in Project 6, Quezon City to promote a “safe and non-toxic” New Year’s celebration.
Also, the Philippine National Police (PNP) renewed its call for public cooperation in the campaign against indiscriminate firing of firearms during the New Year revelry.
The PNP chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, appealed to the public and fellow police personnel not to use their guns in welcoming the New Year.
De la Rosa also urged citizens to report incidents of indiscriminate firing of firearms or the use of prohibited firecrackers.
He reminded all police commanders of the operational guidelines and procedures to be undertaken in maintaining order, law enforcement, and providing public safety services during the holidays.
“Police Assistance Hubs will also be established in places of convergence,” he said.