A THREE-month-old baby sleeping on his crib was killed by a stray bullet during the New Year revelry in Caoayan town, Ilocos Sur province.
The infant, Von Alexander Llagas, was hit in the head and died while being treated in hospital.
Last year, Stephanie Nicole Ella, 7, died after being hit by a stray bullet while watching fireworks with her family in Caloocan City.
The Department of Health (DoH) said the number of firecracker victims this year – 599— was 43 percent higher than last year’s 419. Majority of the casualties were recorded in Metro Manila.
Nine persons were injured by stray bullets. Some of the victims were Rhauz Angelo Corpuz, 2, of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte; Wilson Fulgencio, 8, of Tantangan, South Cotabato; Rosa Mia Deruta, 12, of Paranaque City and Alex Afuang, 30, of Quezon City, Mury Calderon, 26, of Navotas City; Chito Corpuz, 37, of Tumauini, Isabela; Raul Alday, 43, of Candelaria, Quezon and Junel de Chavez, 22, of Bacoor City, Cavite.
The police also recorded three fires originating from the use of firecrackers and fireworks resulting in one death and two injuries.
While there were more firecracker victims this year, the injuries were “milder”, according to the DOH.
Despite the rise in the number of casualties, the department said that the government’s campaign against the use of firecrackers has been effective because many Filipinos decided to use safer noisemakers such as paper horns.
Nonetheless, Health Secretary Enrique Ona expressed his desire to spearhead the move for a total ban on firecrackers after the holidays.