Political will, public cooperation key to reduced firecracker injuries

BAGUIO CITY January 08 – The strong political will of city officials in imposing a total ban on the sale and use of firecrackers for the Yuletide revelries and the cooperation of the public to such policy of the local government were instrumental in the reduction of firecracker-related injuries in the city during the Yuletide revelries, city health authorities said here recently.

City Health Officer Rowena Galpo revealed that for the period December 21, 2017 to January 5, 2018, there were only three reported firecracker injuries in the city which is 40 percent lower than the 5 cases reported during the same monitoring period in 2017.

Galpo claimed the good thing that happened in the city during the monitoring period is that there were no incidents of indiscriminate firing and stray bullet injuries, no watusi ingestion among children and that the city was able to register zero firecracker-related injury during the Christmas revelry.

She disclosed the ages of the individuals who sustained firecracker-related injuries is from 11 to 18 years old where 1 of them was an active victim while the 2 others were passive victims.

“We will still target zero casualty in the city in the next monitoring period. We will sustain aggressively our advocacy on the non-use of firecrackers during the Yuletide revelries to make our people shift to alternative ways of welcoming the new year instead of using firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials,” Galpo stressed.

The health officer underscored the importance of inculcating in the minds of the public the non-use of firecrackers to celebrate the Yuletide revelries because firecrackers pose a serious threat to the safety of individuals and their family members but also contribute to the pollutants in the city’s air.

According to her, the total ban imposed by the local government as shown by the firm stand of Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan in refusing the requests of firecracker and pyrotechnic vendors to sell only items for fireworks display was instrument in the reducing firecracker-related injuries in the city during the monitoring period.

Galpo added, for the second straight year, the city recorded firecracker-related injuries below 10 incidents, a significant gain in the city’s efforts to achieve zero casualty during the celebration of the new year.

She expressed optimism that the City Council will enact the appropriate ordinance imposing a total ban on the use of firecrackers during the Yuletide revelries to make sure enterprising firecracker vendors will be prohibited from bringing and selling in the city banned items that pose a serious threat to the safety of the public.

Galpo rallied everyone to strictly adhere to the imposition of a total ban on the use of firecrackers in the city to help in the government’s campaign of realizing zero casualty and learn to use alternative modes of celebrating the Yuletide season in the future.

Based on records from the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center emergency room, health experts attended to 6 injured individuals , 3 came from Baguio city, 1 from Tuba, 1 from Buguias and 1 from Sagada, Mountain Province.

By Dexter A. See

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