Northern Mindanao firecracker victims reach 39

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

VICTIMS of firecrackers in Northern Mindanao rose to 39 as of Thursday, the Department of Health (DOH) regional office reported.

DOH-Northern Mindanao spokesman Emiliano Galban Jr. said this figure is based on a region-wide report since December 21, with Cagayan de Oro leading by 11 cases.

Galban said most victims are children who were hit by piccolo, one of the illegal firecrackers sold in the market.

He said children were deceived by the packaging of piccolo due to the designs that are attractive to them.

Galban said the number of cases is expected to rise by the end of the year as more and more people would buy firecrackers to welcome the New Year.

He said a task force is created to campaign against the sale of firecrackers by informal and ambulant vendors who do not have permit to display and sell firecrackers.

The task force, he added, has mobilized the village officials to help in the campaign in a bid to achieve the zero-cases of victims of firecrackers in the coming days.

Also, the police have been tapped to help confiscate and remind the public not to buy firecrackers for the New Year revelry.

Members of the task force met on Thursday to draw plan for the campaign.

Police Inspector Dominador Orate, deputy commander of the Cogon police station, said the police are already into it, but they have yet to arrest a single vendor.

Most firecrackers can be found in the area around the Cogon market, Orate said.

He said firecracker vendors would hide their items every time the police conduct inspections.

He said they can arrest no one, but firecrackers left by the vendors were confiscated.

Barangay 34 chairperson Apa Yee said, however, that he is giving consideration to the vendors, “as it is Christmas time.”

Yee said since he became a village official, they cannot easily drive the vendors away, “(because) it is their livelihood.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 28, 2013.

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