CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Jan. 9 (PIA) - Despite a strong campaign against using firecrackers during Christmas and New Year's eve, the Department of Health (DOH) Region 10 still tallied an increase of 30 percent of fireworks-related injuries in Northern Mindanao in 2018.
During the recent Talakayan sa PIA held at SM CDO Downtown Premier, DOH-10 revealed that a total of 13 fireworks-related injuries were documented by DOH from Dec. 21, 2018 to Jan. 6, 2019 under Iwas Paputok Surveillance 2018.
Dr. David Mendoza, chief of Local Health Support Development Cluster of DOH-10, said that from 10 injuries in 2017, it has now increased to 13.
The good news, however, was that compared to previous years, he said the types of injuries have now minimized to just blasts or burns with no amputation.
He added that most of the cases are passively involved. "Dili sila ang gapabuto kun dili nabuthan lang. They were not the one to light the firecracker but became victims of the fireworks or firecrackers."
This year, Mendoza said top injuries came from fireworks (pyrotechnic) display (4 cases), followed by Kwitis (2), Piccolo (2), Triangle (1), while the other three were regulated/legal firecrackers and a stray bullet.
Based on trends, Mendoza explained that this time, there were less users. "Our victims are no longer active but passive," he said.
"That is why we need to assess if next year, we are going to implement zero firecrackers which will involve policy making," he explained.
Meanwhile, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Cagayan de Oro City (CDO) Director and Chair of the city's OPLAN: Iwas Paputok Task Force, Jane Docallos, shared that the implementation of Executive Order 28 (Regulation and Control of Use of Firecrackers and Pyrotechnic devices) by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte was not hard but risky.
"When we did the confiscation in December last year, for illegal firecrackers, it was taxing on my part to confiscate huge items," she said.
"Tan-awon pud nato ang business sector, they are spending capital. (Let us also watch the business sector, they are spending capital)," she added.
"We confiscated P600,000 value. It's a risk on our part as task force," she said.
In terms of eliminating illegal firecrackers in the market, Docallos said they have visited markets in the city to look for Piccolos and found nothing. But only to find out, it was still among the firecrackers causing injury based on the list of DOH.
In their post-evaluation with the Task Force in the city, she said that as chair, she has challenged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to intensify their intelligence network.
Although she mentioned that these kinds of illegal firecrackers are easy to hide because of their small size, Docallos said the community should also cooperate.
Residents should not buy illegal firecrackers and those that see these illegal firecrackers being sold should report it to authorities, she added. (JMOR/PIA10)