Manila expects drop in firecracker injuries on New Year

Manila expects a drop in firecracker injuries this New Year, Mayor Joseph Estrada said Thursday.

Estrada said that for the past three years, Manila has experienced a decreasing trend in firecracker incidents due to the city government's relentless campaign against illegal firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

Based on the report of the Manila Health Department (MHD), there were about 700 firecracker and burn injuries tallied in 2013; 500 in 2014; and 300 in 2015.

"We have been reiterating the ill effects of using firecrackers, bawat taon (every year). We visited schools at bawat (in every) barangay to inform them that these firecrackers, if not handled properly, can lead to serious injuries, death at siyempre, sunog (and of course, fire)," the mayor added.

He said President Rodrigo Duterte's total ban on firecrackers has somewhat affected the sale and manufacture of banned firecrackers.

"Of course, it is a combined effort of the President, DOH (Department of Health) and LGUs (local government units), like Manila, to disseminate among people information on the effects of these firecrackers," Estrada said.

According to MHD chief, Dr. Benjamin Yson, most incidents related to firecracker use in the city were skin burns and minor wounds.

"Maybe one, but not a major injury or burns but so far, no one reported having been dismembered -- joint or hand," he said.

Meanwhile, Yson assured that the six city-owned hospitals are on standby and have stockpiled medicines and first-aid supplies to cater to firecracker blast victims.

"They're set, on full alert, to address blast injuries, possible shooting victims, stray bullet or direct altercations, stabbing victims, brought about by the festivity. They've been ready since Dec. 24 until Jan. 1," he added.

Manila's six public hospitals -- Sta. Ana Hospital, Ospital ng Tondo, Ospital ng Sampaloc, Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center, Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center (GABMMC), and Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital -- are manned by about 600 doctors.

Source: Philippines News Agency