GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The Department of Health (DOH) 12 (Soccsksargen) seeks to achieve zero firecracker-related injury this coming Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Jenny Ventura, coordinator of the agency's "Iwas Paputok" program, said Friday they have stepped up their coordination with local health offices and stakeholders in a bid to encourage more residents to shun the use of firecrackers and fireworks during the holidays.
“Most of the recorded injury cases these past years happened in our households and we want to stop that,” Ventura said in a press briefing.
She said local health offices, in partnership with DOH-12, started their campaigns against firecrackers as early as October.
She said the initiative employs the “scare tactic”, which entails the use of graphic pictures showing victims who had lost their fingers and sustained serious injuries because of firecrackers.
Ventura said they are also working with local government and police units for the proper enforcement of the national government’s regulatory policies on the sale and use of firecrackers and fireworks within their areas.
Executive Order No. 28, issued by President Rodrigo Duterte in June last year, prohibits the use of firecrackers in households and instead promotes community fireworks displays.
Ventura said some local government units in the region have already passed ordinances that set a total ban on the use and sale of firecrackers while some only imposed regulatory measures.
DOH-12 recorded a total of 56 firecracker-related injuries during last year’s Christmas and New Year holidays, increasing by 8 percent or 12 percent, based on the 48 cases previously recorded.
South Cotabato province posted the most number of injuries with 37, followed by North Cotabato with 10, Sarangani with four, this city with three, and Sultan Kudarat with two. (PNA)
Photo from Rappler