THE Department of Health (DOH) 7 recorded six fireworks-related injuries from midnight of Dec. 16 to 11:59 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020.
This is 50 percent higher than the four cases last year.
Of the six cases, three are from Lapu-Lapu City, one from Bohol, one from Negros Oriental and one from Cebu City, according to the DOH 7. There was no reported case of fireworks ingestion and stray bullet injury or death.
The case in Lapu-Lapu City involved a 36-year-old man from Barangay Marigondon who reportedly used a .22mm bullet as a firecracker.
He fractured his right index finger and is recuperating at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City.
Of the six cases, three involved hand injuries while the others injured their eye, head and legs.
In Barangay Tisa, Cebu City, a 15-year-old male hurt his left eye because of a firecracker or “libintador.”
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 spokesperson, said the victim was treated at the VSMMC emergency room and was discharged on Dec. 24 in good condition.
Loreche reminded the public to avoid dangerous fireworks and firecrackers.
“We continue to remind everyone to do away with firecrackers in the coming new year’s celebration. We can always welcome 2021 with a big bang minus these firecrackers,” she said in a text message to SunStar Cebu.
She said hospitals have already been alerted to prepare for fireworks-related cases during the New Year celebration.
In Cebu City, Mayor Edgardo Labella reminded residents to use only those firecrackers that are allowed or they will get penalized.
He also urged police officers and soldiers to refrain from firing their firearms on New Year’s Eve or they could face administrative cases that might lead to their dismissal from service.
Labella directed the City Legal Office to monitor individuals who violate the firecracker regulation.
Criminal charges await violators, he said.
According to the list of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, prohibited firecrackers include piccolo, watusi, giant whistle bomb, giant bawang, large judas belt, super lolo, lolo thunder, atomic bomb, atomic bomb triangulo, pillbox, boga, kwiton, goodbye earth, goodbye bading, hello columbia and goodbye Philippines.
Labella said he doesn’t want to see any firecracker-related injury this year.
He noted that only a few used firecrackers to usher in Christmas this year compared to in the past.
“I hope that this will be the same attitude for the New Year,” he said.
Cebu City regulates the sale and use of firecrackers, which can only be sold at a designated area at the South Road Properties.
Stalls selling “approved” firecrackers opened last Dec. 20 and will remain open until Dec. 31. Store hours are from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Labella said tanods in Barangay Mambaling have been monitoring the area to ensure safety and that health protocols are followed. (WBS, JJL)