PRESIDENT Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd on Saturday lauded the Philippine National Police (PNP) for helping curb the sale and use of illegal firecrackers, resulting in fewer deaths and injuries during the New Year revelry.
The Department of Health attributed the 50 percent reduction in firecracker injuries to the confiscation of illegal firecrackers.
PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor said Aquino extended his personal congratulations to PNP chief Ricardo Marquez for the effective campaign against firecrackers.
In his text message to Marquez, the President cited the report of Health Secretary Janette Garin that only 384 people were injured during the revelry.
“The confiscations done by PNP helped a lot,” Garin said.
The figure is 57 percent lower than the five-year average, and 53 percent lower than the recorded cases in 2015.
Hospitals under the management of the DOH performed only nine amputations, according to Garin.
The Health Secretary attributed the steep reduction in firecracker-related injuries to the effective law enforcement by the PNP against prohibited firecrackers.
Mayor said the PNP chief extended the President’s congratulations to the regional, provincial and municipal police stations and precincts.
Aquino directed the police to strictly enforce the nationwide ban on outlawed firecrackers as well as the firing of guns during the holiday season.
Reports culled by the PNP National Headquarters recorded the arrest of nine persons for alleged indiscriminate firing of guns.
The PNP also reported the arrest of 22 persons for possession and sale of prohibited firecrackers, and the confiscation of P1.1 million worth of prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.
To complement aggressive law enforcement operations, the PNP, through the Directorate for Police Community Relations under Director Wilfredo Franco and the Public Information Office under Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor launched a massive public information and awareness drive in support of the DOH campaign against firecrackers.