House Speaker mulls ban on firecrackers-A A +A
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
MANILA -- House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Wednesday backed the position of President Benigno Aquino III to ban all types of firecrackers as the number of firework-related injuries continues to rise.
“A total ban on the use of firecrackers is worth considering in a bid to spare Filipinos from fireworks-related deaths and injuries during the celebration of New Year,” Belmonte said.
The Health department earlier said piccolo, a banned firecracker, caused the most number of injuries.
Health Secretary Enrique Ona also reported that a 17-year-old boy from Valenzuela City, who used a banned “Goodbye Philippines” firecracker suffered the most serious injury, resulting in the amputation of his right hand.
For her part, Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay blamed the failure of concerned authorities to implement existing laws on banned firecrackers.
“It just shows the failure of the government to implement existing laws. Concerned agencies have failed to enforce the laws strictly,” Magsaysay said.
As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that 680 firework-related injuries have been recorded, with the biggest number recorded in Metro Manila at 214.
Meanwhile, the House committee on public order and safety is yet to act on House Resolution 2914 filed by Quezon City Representative Winston Castelo asking Congress to task the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to regulate the use of sky lanterns during the holiday season.
Castelo warned of possible environmental hazards from sky lanterns.
Agham party-list Representative Angelo Palmones also filed House Resolution 2909 requesting a House panel inquiry on the proliferation and use of sky lanterns during special occasions, in aid of legislation.
The Bureau of Fire Protection had advised the public not to use sky lanterns in populated areas. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)
Banned firecrackers worth P1.65 million were confiscated in 512 separate operations.
Director General Alan Purisima, PNP chief, congratulated local police commanders and his counterpart officials of national government agencies for "successfully minimizing Yuletide casualties this year."
Police authorities also made their holiday assessment as they noted "fewer" casualties and injuries in the Christmas and New Year revelries.
Initial assessment by the Department of Health (DOH) showed a 17 percent decrease in firecracker-related injuries since December 21.
The DOH said 413 fireworks-related injuries from 6 a.m., December 21, 2012 to 5:59 a.m., January 1, 2013.
Of the said figure, 404 injuries were due to fireworks, eight from stray bullets and one from firework ingestion.
On Tuesday, Health Secretary Enrique Ona expressed optimism that the final tally will be significantly lower than last year based on early observations of less crowded hospitals in the past 24 hours.
However, he also noted that "it is too early to conclude" that authorities had a better campaign this year based on the DOH report alone.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Wednesday a total of 680 firework-related injuries were reported in Metro Manila and in other regions.
Stray bullets also injured 17 people and killed a four-year-old child from Mandaluyong City. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)