SOCOT LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN VS FIRECRACKERS, FIREWORKS
GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The South Cotabato provincial government has launched a campaign against the use of firecrackers and fireworks, hoping to reduce injury cases this coming Christmas season.
Genesis Navales, non-communicable diseases coordinator of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said Thursday their teams are currently visiting schools and local communities to encourage residents, especially children, to refrain from using firecrackers and fireworks.
Navales said they decided to launch the campaign early to cover more areas and ensure better awareness among residents.
It is mainly focused on children and teenagers aged five to 14 years, which comprised the majority of the recorded injury cases these past years.
As part of the move, she said posters and information materials about the danger posed by firecrackers and fireworks are being disseminated.
The campaign materials, posted in schools and various public places, were produced by the provincial government and the Department of Health (DOH), she said.
“We continued the scare tactic for our children by showing pictures of victims who lost fingers and sustained serious injuries because of firecrackers,” Navales said.
Aside from these, she said they also sent campaign materials to the province’s city and municipal mayors to encourage them to spearhead initiatives against the use of firecrackers and fireworks.
Navales said they urged local officials to promote and implement regulatory policies, as well as initiate the holding of community fireworks displays during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
She cited Executive Order (EO) No. 28 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in June last year, which regulates the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices in the entire country. It also bans the use of firecrackers in households and promotes the holding instead of community fireworks displays.
The IPHO recorded a total of 51 injury cases due to firecrackers in the previous Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Piccolo, a banned firecracker usually sold in sari-sari stores for PHP1 apiece, remained the top cause of injuries with 10, followed by skyrocket or “kwitis” with seven.
Some 20 of the victims were children aged 10 years old and below and three finger amputations were recorded in the municipalities of Banga, Sto. Nino, and Lake Sebu.