THE Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas is expecting a huge decrease in the number of firecracker-related injuries in the New Year revelries.
Dr. May Ann Sta. Lucia, regional coordinator of DOH-Western Visayas Violence and Injury Prevention Program, said Friday, December 30, that 19 cases were reported in Western Visayas since the start of the surveillance period on December 21. The monitoring is until January 5.
Topping the list is Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, with eight, followed by Iloilo with seven, Capiz and Guimaras with two each. Antique and Aklan reported zero incidents.
Sta. Lucia said the DOH-Western Visayas is hoping to reduce firecracker-related cases this year from last year’s 198.
She added that they have intensified their campaign against the use of firecrackers through radio, print, TV and social media.
Sta. Lucia said local government units were mandated to assign designated firecracking zones in their respective areas pursuant to Executive Order No. 28 which restricts the use of fireworks.
She enjoined the public to support the order.
“Firecrackers are now prohibited in densely populated areas like residential, near the hospitals, market place, schools, electrical posts, and establishments in highly-flammable area,” she said, adding that violators will be penalized.
Moreover, Sta. Lucia said there are alternative methods in celebrating the New Year like using “torotot,” musical instruments, and any object that produce noise.
Firecracker zones identified
In Negros Occidental, most of the 31 LGUs have identified only one barangay in their respective localities as its firecracker zone.
These are Bonifacio Street in Barangay 4, Talisay City; public plaza in Barangay 3, Silay City; Barangay 1 in E.B. Magalona; Bliss Project in Barangay 1-A, Manapla; Gustilo Boulevard in Barangay Zone 1, Cadiz City; Barangay 2 in Sipalay City; some areas of Barangay 1 in Himamaylan City; Barangay Jonobjonob in Escalante City;
Also identified as firecracker zone are Reclamation Area, Barangay 3, San Carlos City; Bantayan Park in Barangay Poblacion, Bago City; public plaza in Barangay Poblacion, Valladolid; Barangay Poblacion in San Enrique; Barangay San Juan in Pontevedra; Barangay San Pedro in Binalbagan; some areas of Barangay Talubangi in Kabankalan City; Barangay Dancalan in Ilog; Barangay Poblacion 2 in Sagay City;
Barangay Bacoyangan in Hinoba-an; Bonifacio Street in Barangay Robles, La Castellana; public market in Barangay Poblacion, Toboso; Barangay Look in Calatrava; Locsin Ledesma Street in La Carlota City; Barangay Poblacion in Salvador Benedicto; public plaza in Barangay Poblacion, Murcia;
Magallanes Street in Barangay 4, Isabela; Yap Quiña Street in Victorias City; Barangay Poblacion in Candoni; Barangay Poblacion in Moises Padilla; public plaza in Barangay Zone 3 in Pulupandan.
The towns of Cauayan and Hinigaran have identified more than one barangay as their firecracker zones.
These are Barangays Isio and Poblacion in Cauayan and Barangays 1, Tagda, and Gargato in Hinigaran.