Mission accomplished. Health authorities were pleased to report no deaths and a significantly lower number of fireworks-related injuries as Filipinos ushered in the new year.
As of January 1, 2018, only 191 fireworks-related injuries were recorded, 77 percent lower compared to a five-year average running from 2012 to 2016.
At a press conference, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said his department declared a 68 percent decrease in firecracker-related injuries from December 21, 2017 to January 1, 2018, compared to the previous year.
The DOH had an overall tally of 630 injuries between December 21, 2016 to January 5, 2017, including 350 firecracker-related injuries on reported on January 1, 2017.
Of the 191 cases, Metro Manila accounted for 115: 63 in the city of Manila, 14 in Quezon City, 11 in Pasig City, and six in Valenzuela City. Western Visayas reporte 15 cases, while the Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Bicol regions each reported 13 cases.
Piccolo, a type of small firecracker popular among children, remained the top cause of injuries, the DOH noted. Fourteen injuries were due to kwitis, while 12 others were attributed to various other fireworks. Ten injuries were from fountain burns, while boga - an improvised bazooka - claimed nine victims. Although there was no death reported, there was still a case of stray bullet injury recorded in Caloocan City.
Health authorities also heaved a sigh of relief because of the absence of fireworks ingestion and amputation.
"I would say we are relatively pleased - relative because there are still injuries, but pleased because of the substantial reduction in fireworks-related injuries from December 21, 2017 to January 1, 201," Secretary Duque told mediamen.
Prior to the start of the holidays, the DOH constantly reminded the public to refrain from using fireworks and firecrackers to cut the risk of injuring themselves. The agency likewise conducted spot-checks in hospitals to assess for readiness in handling cases.
In large part, the significant decline was due to Executive Order No. 28 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, which limited the use of fireworks in officially-designated community areas, while banning the use of powerful fireworks and firecrackers. MIMS