DOH wants total ban on individual firecrackers use through legislation

Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo said on Tuesday legislation is a better tool to impose nationwide ban on the individual use of firecrackers.

"Legislation will be a better tool to really enforce things that we would like to happen," Bayugo said in a press briefing in Malacanang.

Bagyugo said the DOH has been asked to prepare a draft of an Executive Order that would ban the individual firecracker use to prevent injuries during New Year's revelries.

He said, however, the EO will not be implemented this year due to the appeal of the firecrackers industry which have already invested so much for the coming New Year's celebration.

"The preparation for the year, even the investment, happened even earlier and just disrupting an industry like that, it will not be a good sign also, in terms of your concern for your people," Bayugo explained.

Under the EO draft, Bayugo proposed a nationwide ban on the individual use of firecrackers.

"What we would like to limit or ban is the individual use of the firecrackers because this causes injuries," he said.

In the absence of legislation which it will take time to come out with a law, Bayugo said an EO banning the individual use of firecrackers may likely happen next year.

The DOH, Bayugo said, has so far received report of 70 fireworks-related incidents, including one fireworks ingestion involving a child who was seen to have the luces in between the teeth.

"The rest of the 69 are all blast injuries and half of these are from the National Capital Region and half the causes are illegal fireworks like the piccolo and the boga," Bayugo said.

He said that so far, there is no report of stray bullet injury, hoping it will be zero bullet injury throughout the New Year's celebration.

"We're praying that we'll see less cases and no more deaths, no more injuries, no more amputation, so that everybody will be having a really prosperous and happy New year," the DOH official said.

Source: Philippines Information Agency