GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 28 Dec) – The Department of Health (DOH) in Region 12 has raised concern over the rising firecracker and fireworks-related injury cases in parts of the region that already reached 41 as of Monday.
Jenny Ventura, nurse coordinator of the DOH-12’s “Iwas Paputok” campaign, said such figure is based on reports submitted since Dec. 21 by rural health units within the region’s four provinces and five cities.
DOH-12 has set its monitoring for firecracker and fireworks-related injuries from Dec. 21 until Jan. 5 as part of this year’s Iwas Paputok campaign.
“We recorded a similar number of injury cases for the same period last year and this is a big concern for us since we still have eight more days for our monitoring,” Ventura said in an interview over television show “Magandang Umaga South Central Mindanao.”
Citing their records, she said South Cotabato province posted the most number of injury cases with 17, followed by Cotabato City and North Cotabato with six each, this city with five, Sultan Kudarat with four and Sarangani with three.
Most of the victims are children aged 7 to 10, one of whom already lost a finger, while the oldest is 49 years old.
Ventura said the banned firecracker piccolo is still the number one cause of injuries at 34 cases so far.
She said the other injuries were caused by kwitis, Roman candle, baby rocket and several undetermined firecrackers and fireworks.
The official advised parents to properly monitor the activities of their children and stop them from buying and using firecrackers.
She noted that some banned firecrackers, especially piccolo, are currently sold in sari-sari stores within neighborhoods.
“Piccolo is an imported item and is one of those banned by Philippine National Police,” she said.
Instead of buying and using firecrackers and fireworks, Ventura urged residents to focus on other ways of celebrating the holidays, especially the coming New Year.
“There are safer ways of making noises for the New Year like clanging our housewares and joining dance parties,” she said.