THE Department of Health (DOH) is set to ask members of the Cordillera Association of Regional Executives to come up with a resolution encouraging the National Government, particularly Congress, to make the necessary amendments in the existing law on the use, sale, and manufacturing of legal and illegal firecrackers.
Based on the result of its final monitoring report of firecracker-related injuries from December 21, 2017 to January 5, 2018, the DOH-Cordillera listed 25 minor injuries from the earlier 22 recorded injuries with the youngest listed at six years of age while the eldest was at 58 years of age, with an individual in Kalinga province injured while under the influence of liquor.
DOH–Cordillera director Lakshmi Legaspi said she is encouraging members of CARE in stressing their support to ban the sale and use of firecrackers.
“This is aside from strictly implementing the provision in the Executive Order signed by President Duterte regarding the use, sale, and manufacturing of firecrackers and pyrotechnics," added Legaspi.
Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)-Cordillera assistant director Superintendent Allan Eballar questioned the process of the Philippine National Police's (PNP) Firearms and Explosives in the issuance of a permit to sell to the municipality of Tuba.
Eballar presented the permit issued by the PNP's Firearms and Explosives Office as an example why local government units in the region could not come up with a local ordinance since it could not supersede a national law.
Meanwhile, the DOH sees a positive behavioral change coming from the residents of the Cordillera who have understood the negative effects brought about by the use of legal and illegal firecrackers.
"We foresee an improvement for this year considering that Baguio City which is thickly-populated being a highly-urbanized city have reduced the number of firecracker-related injuries because of its strong campaign against the use and selling of firecrackers, aside from the Mayor’s firm stand of totally banning firecrackers," Legaspi assessed.
Legaspi explained the importance for neighboring local government units of Baguio and the Cordillera to emulate the firm stand of Mayor Mauricio Domogan on banning firecrackers.
"By showing the data to the neighboring local government units which indicates the decrease in the number of firecracker related injuries due to the intensive campaign we all implemented, then the positive change may be expected," the regional director added.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on January 11, 2018.
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