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Published On: Thu, Dec 27th, 2012

In firecracker-injury prone Philippines, fireworks ban in consideration

Public domain image/Challiyan at the wikipedia project

Public domain image/Challiyan at the wikipedia project

New Years and firecracker/fireworks injuries frequently go together in the Philippines as dozens of injuries are reported each season.

However, health officials are not only out their warning the public about firecracker safety this season, an outright ban on fireworks is being discussed, according to a Manila Standard Today report Dec. 27.

“The Department of Health might consider a ban on the individual use of fireworks and firecrackers while it continues to push for a community display of fireworks to significantly bring down the number of casualties,” said Health Secretary Enrique Ona.

Thus far during the Christmas holiday week, health officials report a total of 72 fireworks-related injuries. Of this number, 71 were due to fireworks and one stray bullet case. Fortunately, no one was killed in the celebrations.

This number is a third lower than the total recorded last year during the same period.

Its not only injuries of the hand, fingers and other appendages that health officials are concerned about. It can also provide other health illness such as the case of the 18-year-old student who was diagnosed with conjunctivitis after watching a fireworks display at the University of Sto. Tomas, according to a Daily Tribune report.

Some areas of the Philippines have local bans that have been implemented for several years with good results. For example, Tagaytay City instituted an ordinance 10 years ago and no reported casualties were recorded in the past couple of years.

Localities across the archipelago are warning their residents to be careful during celebrations this year.

In Manila Thursday, Department of Health officials teamed up with  watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition to promote the public health and safety against the many sided hazards posed by pyrotechnic devices.

Health officials led by Secretary Enrique Ona, Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa and Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Miss Universe First Runner-Up Janine Tugonon and representatives from national and local government agencies, including the Bureau of Fire Protection and Philippine National Police participated in the event.

“The protection of our children and people against injury and harm caused by firecrackers is a shared responsibility.  We all need to act to reverse this unacceptable practice of exploding firecrackers to usher in the New Year, which has maimed and even claimed the lives of many people.  Let’s safely welcome the New Year without paputok-related injuries, fires, wastes and toxic fumes,” said Sec. Ona.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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