Firecracker victims fewer by 64 percent

By Mar S. Arguelles LEGAZPI CITY --- At least 49 persons, mostly children, fell victims of firecracker - related injuries, the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol said on Monday. The DOH Action Paputok Injury Reduction (APIR) unit said the number of victims recorded in closing days of 2017 is 64 percent lower than previous year’s figure of 77 cases. DOH also recorded 2 cases of stray bullets injuries in Camarines Norte. Jaime Guerrero, DOH APIR program coordinator, in an interview said that 49 percent of the victims were minors with ages ranging from 6-12 with “Piccolo” as the leading injury causing firecrackers. He said Albay remained at the top with 27 cases followed by Camarines Sur with12, Camarines Norte-6, Sorsogon -2, and Masbate 2. Catanduanes had no case reported. Guerrero claimed that DOH sentinels across the region reported there were a number of reported firecracker victims during the periods December 26, 31 and New Year’s Day. DOH report show that as of 6:00 a.m., Monday, 49 of the victims were directly involved using firecrackers, 44 of whom were male and five were females. Despite total ban, the leading firecrackers involved were Picolo with 38 cases, Kwitis-2, and 5 Star with only 2. In 2015 there were 123 recorded cases while in 2016 cases dropped to 77, or 63 percent. Aside from Piccolo, other products banned are firecrackers with large amount of explosive powder contents like the Goodbye Philippines, Bin Laden, Atomic Triangulo, Super Bawang, Super Lolo, and 5 Star.