Hospitals here are now in white alert status as the revelry about the Christmas season and the New Year’s Day heightens with the expectations on increased injuries related to firecrackers.
It is traditionally expected injuries related to firecrackers will increase days leading to Christmas and especially during the revelry on New Year’s Eve.
To anticipate the increase in cases, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot said white code hadbeen raised in all ten provincial hospitals, reports said.
The raising of the white code is in anticipation of the increased cases particularly in welcoming the New Year.
Rural Health Units are ordered to have personnel manning stations especially the holidays, said Cabagnot. The RHU employees are on call the entire day.
Health facilities are busy and enter a critical peak during the holidays to attend to injuries related to firecrackers. In many cases, people are also getting medical attention due to stray bullets, which has become a colossal concern in the previous years.
As of this writing, no person has been reported to figure in a firecracker-related accident in Bohol.
With the firecracker use increased during the holiday season, it is a concern for some since firecrackers can cause damage or worse loss of limb or life.
In line with firecracker use, the Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) directed all police chiefs in the towns and the city to establish designated areas where pyrotechnics will be displayed.
The move is to ensure the use of legal fireworks and to mitigate any risks in line with firecrackers.
BPPO provincial director Sr. Supt. Felipe Natividad issued the directive last week during a command conference. He issued the directive to all 48 chiefs of police in the province at Camp Dagohoy in Tagbilaran City.
Firecrackers are dangerous and should be handled by professionals. However, the use of firecrackers is part of the celebrations during the holidays. Filipinos are known to use fireworks during festivities.
The directive is in line with the Executive Order (EO) No. 28 signed by President Duterte, which regulates the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnics.
The executive order was signed by the President on June 20, 2017. The order states “the use of firecrackers shall henceforth be confined to community fireworks display.”
The order mandates the creation of designated areas for the sale of the fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices.
The towns and cities are allowed to conduct their own fireworks display. There should be a permit secured for the purpose, which states the date and time of the activity. The permit should also indicate where the activity will be held.
REASON BEHIND THE EO
The executive order has observed the injuries sustained as a result of the use of firecrackers.
“As there continues to be a substantial number of firecracker-related injuries, even casualties, recorded every year, some involving mere bystanders, the promulgation of stricter national standards, rules, and regulations is warranted,” the president said in the EO.
The order qualified community fireworks display as one done “on occasion or as part of a celebration, competition, or similar event held in a venue other than a place ace of residence” and “under the supervision of a trained person duly licensed by the PNP.”
The executive order said the fireworks display would also be allowed if the municipality or city concerned issued a permit with specific date and time; and thearea in which the display will be conducted, in conformity with national standards, rules, and regulations.
The president in his order said the PNP should coordinate with the Department of Health, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Bureau of Fire Protection for the implementation of the EO.
DROP IN FIRECRACKER INJURIES AT THE START OF 2017
The efforts of the government have led to the decline in the reported firecracker injuries at the turn of the year.
The Department of Health reported a 60 percent decline in the national statistics about firecracker injuries in five years.
“This is lower than the 5-year average of 2011-2015 and lower than in the previous year,” former Sec. of Health Paulyn Ubial said.
She said that of the 350 cases reported by the Department of Health’s 50 sentinel sites all over the country, 348 were caused by firecrackers and fireworks, while the other two involved cases of fireworks ingestion.
The piccolo, an illegal firework, continued to be leading cause of firecracker-related injuries, accounting for 38 percent of the cases. Kwitis came in next as 20 percent of the injuries were caused by the legal firework.
Luces and fountain accounted for five percent of the cases, respectively.