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PIA Press Release
2010/01/06

Negros Oriental reports minimal firecracker injuries

But supports DOH plan to ban firecrackers

Negros Occidental (6 January) -- Following two deaths directly owing to firecrackers and the surge in injuries this year, the Department of Health recommended the banning of firecrackers in residential areas.

"We are recommending the total ban because this is the first time that deaths due to firecrackers have been reported. In the previous years, fatalities were mainly due to watusi ingestion and stray bullets," Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said in a statement released by DOH.

Dr. Eric Tayag, director for the National Epidemiology Center revealed that there are 920 firecracker-related injuries as of January 3 compared to only 683 cases in 2008.

Despite the increase in the number in the nationwide statistics, Negros Occidental has minimal firecracker-related incidents with only nine recorded injuries as of January 3, 2009 compared to 100 persons who suffered injuries due to firecrackers last year.

The Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office recorded the incidents coming from the cities of Sagay, Kabankalan and Escalante as well as the municipalities of Pulupandan, Manapla and Hinigaran.

The increase in the number of cases in the country can be attributed to more merry-making since it's the turn of the decade, people seemed to be happier this year and availability of cheap and illegal firecrackers such as Piccolo, Tayag disclosed.

Meanwhile, NOPPO's Chief for Operations and Plans Jefferson Descallar attributed the decrease in the number of injuries to its intensified "Oplan Iwas Paputok" campaign which led to the confiscation of banned firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

In Cadiz City, this province, stalls selling firecrackers was burned down on New Year's Eve but no one was hurt. Estimated loss in the fire incident was around P550,000 worth firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

According to police records in the province, there is no single incident of indiscriminate firing as well as recorded victim of stray bullet. (PIA/EAD) [top]

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