Editorial: Safe New Year's welcome

DAVAO City's 17th year in implementing Ordinance 060-02 Series of 2002, commonly known as the firecracker and pyrotechnic ban, yielded another zero firecracker-related incident in welcoming the New Year.

Ordinance 060-02 Series of 2002, which was passed during the term of then mayor and currently President Rodrigo Duterte, is "An Ordinance Prohibiting the Manufacture, Sale, Distribution, Possession or Use of Firecrackers or Pyrotechnic Devices and such other similar devices and the exploding of Firecrackers or other similar explosives within the territorial jurisdiction of Davao City".

The Department of Health (DOH) Davao recorded two firecracker-related injuries were recorded in Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur but none in Davao City although the Police Regional Office (PRO) reported that two violators were arrested at 12:50 a.m. on January 1 when they were caught in the act of using improvised cannons while the police were conducting a patrol in Tugbok Proper, Tugbok District.

Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) Chief of Clinics and Health Emergency Management Bureau (Hemb) coordinator Dr. Ricardo Audan attributed the zero firecracker-related injury in Davao City to the City Ordinance 060-02.

In contrast, SunStar Pampanga, based on a DOH report, bared that some 47 cases were recorded from major hospitals in Central Luzon. Of which, 15 firecracker accidents were recorded in Pampanga alone but with no casualties recorded.

Cases were reported in Bataan (four), Bulacan (15), Nueva Ecija (three), Tarlac (six) and Zambales (four) with victims ranging from one to 10 years old while majority were from 11 to 20 years old bracket. Three amputation cases and seven eye injuries were recorded. The cases, according to DOH, was significantly lower by at least 71 percent compared to the same period last year.

However, other parts of the country may also have recorded firecracker-related incidents that may have also resulted to injuries.

Welcoming the New Year with blast wounds, or worst amputations, is very saddening for both the victim and his or her loved ones. This is not something worth celebrating.

If only local government units (LGUs) also replicate Davao City's ordinance or perhaps our lawmakers consider a nationwide firecracker and pyrotechnic ban, then we would no longer be hearing of these firecracker-related incidents during the Christmas to New Year's Day celebrations.


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