THE Department of Health (DOH) in Northern Mindanao has placed all public hospitals in the region under code white from December 16 to January 6, 2018 for so-called Christmas season’s excesses.
Dr. David Mendoza, head of the Regional Epidemiology, Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit of the DOH-Northern Mindanao, said code white means all hospitals and DOH personnel are on-call in case they monitor high incidence of firecracker-related injuries and accidents.
Mendoza, however, said they are aiming for zero-firecracker related injuries this year in a bid to surpass the 56 percent decrease of recorded injuries in 2016.
In 2015, Mendoza said 64 firecracker-related injuries were recorded. But the figure had dramatically decreased to only 28 cases in 2016.
Mendoza said they are confident that they can achieve the zero record with the executive order issued by President Rodrigo Duterte, limiting the use of firecrackers in the country.
Duterte signed on June 20 Executive Order (EO) 28, which shall confine the use of firecrackers to “community fireworks display.”
According to the EO, a community fireworks display is "conducted under the supervision of a trained person duly licensed by the Philippine National Police."
It should also be “allowed by the municipality/city concerned through a permit specifying the date and time of fireworks display and the specific area in which the display will be conducted, in conformity with national standards, rules and regulations.”
Mayor Oscar Moreno, for his part, is also set to identify fireworks display areas in the city especially for the New Year's Day celebration.
A coordination meeting with law enforcement agencies and other concerned government organizations will discuss if the city also needs a total ban on the use of firecrackers or just regulate it.
"Naay bawal sa firecrackers, pero dili man bawal tanan (Not all firecrackers are banned). Kinahanglan lang iregulate (We just need to regulate), and I hope we will be able to decide ipag-bawal ba nato or ato lang iregulate (if we will ban it or just regulate)," Moreno said earlier.