NEGROS Occidental has the most number of firecracker-related injuries in the New Year revelries in Western Visayas even if there was a significant decline of cases in the region, according to the Department of Health (DOH)-Western Visayas.
From the start of the surveillance period on December 21 until January 3, a total of 64 cases were already reported in Western Visayas, said Dr. May Ann Sta. Lucia, regional coordinator of DOH Violence and Injury Prevention Program.
More than half of these patients are minors.
Of the firecracker injuries monitored in the region’s six provinces, Negros Occidental topped the list with 35 followed by Aklan with 13, Iloilo with 12, Capiz and Guimaras with two each. Antique reported zero incident.
Also in the list are the two highly-urbanized cities of Western Visayas – Bacolod with 16 firecracker injuries and Iloilo with only one.
The monitoring will run until January 5.
Sta. Lucia noted that there was huge decrease in the firecracker injuries this year compared to last year’s 198.
She credited the government’s aggressive campaign pursuant to Executive Order No. 28, which regulates the use of firecrackers and fireworks.
In the DOH-Western Visayas’ Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction Report, most of the cases were eye injuries and blast injuries in the hand. Most of them were treated as outpatients.
Also, most of the blast injuries were caused by illegal firecrackers including “boga,” “piccolo,” “whistle bomb,” “luces,” and “kwitis.”
Of the 64 firecracker-related injuries, 41 patients were minors aged one to 17 years old.
The youngest victim, a one-year-old boy from Sipalay City, was hit in the eye by an unknown firecracker on January 1. He was already sent home from Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City.
Also this year, local government units have assigned designated firecracker zones. Violators were arrested by the police.
Among those caught due to firecracker-related offense was a barangay councilman in Iloilo City identified as Ricky Paloa of Barangay Alalasan, Lapuz.
A report from the Police Regional Office in Western Visayas said Paloa ignited a firecracker outside the designated zone around 9 p.m. of December 31.
The police said the suspect insisted he doesn't know about the firecracker designated zone, which is the public plaza.