PICOLLO is the most dangerous of all firecrackers because it is used mostly by children, according to the Cavite Provincial Police Operation Center.
This is why the police are urging parents and adults to make sure that they don’t buy picollo for their young.
The Cavite PPO, tasked to monitor the implementation of “Oplan Iwas Paputok” in the province, said at least 20 cases of firework injuries have been reported.
Although picollo is illegal and banned, it is being sold near subdivisions in Cavite or by sidewalk vendors.
Most of the injuries of victims taken to various hospitals were caused by picollo. No case of watusi ingestion or death due to firecrackers had been reported in the province. All the firecracker victims reported by police from hospitals were given antibiotics and tetanus prophylaxis.
In a related development, Caloocan City launched its “goodbye paputok” campaign on Rizal Day to reduce, if not eliminate, firework-related injuries in the city.
Mayor Oscar Malapitan led a motorcade starting at Caloocan North City Hall that called for a stop to the use of firecrackers and firearms in ushering in the New Year. Tarpaulins and posters with graphic images of firecracker-related injuries were also distributed to inform the populace of the dangers pose by firecrackers.
“We are appealing to all our residents to use alternative methods of noise-making instead. We don’t want them to be injured because firework-related accident and fires can still happen no matter how careful they are,” he said.
“We also urge gun owners not to fire their weapons into the air on New Year’s Eve,” Malapitan added.
The mayor reminded people of the tragedy involving seven-year-old resident Stephanie Nicole Ella who was killed by a stray bullet almost a year ago.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) tapped the social media network to drum up its campaign against the use of banned or illegal fireworks and firecrackers and indiscriminate firing of guns.
PNP public information director Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac said the police has Twitter and Facebook accounts where the public can send their complaints about indiscriminate firing and use of illegal firecrackers.
“The public can report their concern regarding illegal discharge of firearm, use and sale of prohibited fireworks and firecrackers on our Twitter and Facebook accounts,” Sindac said.
The PNP’s twitter account is @ireport_krimen.
“We hope that it can be a deterrent or if not, reduce the increasing number of injuries,” Sindac said.
WITH REPORT FROM ANTHONY VARGAS