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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

LGUs told to set up ‘commonareas’ for fireworks display

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President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is calling on local government units (LGUs) to set up a “common areas” for fireworks display to avoid firecracker-related injuries in welcoming the New Year.

“What we should do is…I will enjoin the LGUs, instead of allowing our people to have their own firecrackers, you [LGUs]  should instead put up fireworks display for your respective constituents,” Marcos said, partly in Filipino, in a chance interview after leading the distribution of Christmas gifts and livelihood aid to children and families in Manila.

Marcos warned Filipinos about the dangers and health effects of using firecrackers, especially those that result from “reckless and indiscriminate” use of firecrackers.

“Let us not use firecrackers as we know that it is dangerous. Especially now that they will release firecrackers, which we don’t know where they came from or if they are safe to be used in the first place,” the President said.

According to a statement issued by Malacañang on Thursday, the Department of Health (DOH) noted a downward trend in firecracker-related injuries in the country, citing figures in recent years.

The Palace said DOH Officer-in-Charge (OIC) and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, at a forum on Tuesday, said 122 cases were recorded in 2020, while 128 were reported last year.

However, Vergeire also urged families and individuals to avoid purchasing and using fireworks this holiday season and instead observe fireworks displays from afar or ones that are “professionally prepared and organized.”

Vergeire said DOH officials would inspect hospitals to check their readiness to attend to fireworks-related injuries or any form of emergency.

The DOH said it has scheduled visit to hospitals on December 29, starting with the Las Piñas Trauma Center, Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center, and Amang Rodriguez Medical Center for the “Oplan Iwas Paputok” campaign.

On December 30, Field Implementation and Coordination Team officials will be visiting communities in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to ensure that families are celebrating the coming of 2023 safely.  (Full story of BusinessMirror here: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2022/12/19/doh-hospitals-on-high-alert-for-celebrations/)

The DOH said it has always advocated for the safe practice of the holidays by avoiding fireworks and firecrackers. With this, the health department said on Sunday that it has placed all local hospitals on “high alert” ahead of the New Year festivities.

Meanwhile, Malacañang said the Philippine National Police has also ramped up efforts to conduct cyber patrol, confiscation and destruction of banned firecrackers and pyrotechnics to protect the public.

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