TACLOBAN CITY- The Department of Health (DOH-8) recorded six cases of firecracker victims in the region since they started monitoring in December 21, 2017.
John Paul Roca, DOH-8 information officer, said that victims are from the towns of Dolores and Salcedo, both in Eastern Samar province, and one from Tacloban City.
“Worst of these victims is from Salcedo (Eastern Samar) who lost his index finger for using a whistle bomb,” Roca said.
Other victims of firecracker incidents used ‘lantaka’ or bamboo cannon and kwitis.
The six cases reported were far below from the 98 cases of firecracker victims last year from December 21 to January 10.
But the DOH expects the number could increase during the New Year’s revelry.
“Twenty-five to 30 percent cases of firecracker incidents happen on the evening of December 31, that is why we are continuously monitoring it,” Roca said.
“We are urging public if you see vendors of illegal firecrackers please report it to authorities,” he added.
Roca added that instead of using firecrackers individually, people should instead join the firework display in their respective locality or used the identified firecracker zone which police authorities will select.
No report on victims of stray bullet had been received by the DOH during the Christmas celebration.
Aside from the DOH, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) also warns public not to sell illegal firecrackers.
“Those who is caught manufacturing, selling, distributing or using illegal firecrackers and pyrotechnics may be fined or imprisoned or suffer both penalties,” the DILG, in a statement, said.
Republic Act 7183 or An Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, Distribution and Use of Firecrackers and Other Pyrotechnic Devices states that any person who manufactures, sells, distributes or uses firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices shall be fined from P20,000 to P30,000, or imprisoned between six months to one year, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court and their license and business permit of the manufacturers will be confiscated.
Included in the list of prohibited firecrackers are piccolo, pop pop, Goodbye Philippines or Crying Bading, Yolanda or Goodbye Napoles, Watusi, pla-pla, giant kwitis, watusi or “dancing firecrackers,” super lolo, atomic big trianggulo, mother rockets, lolo thunder, pillbox, boga, big Judah’s belt, big bawang, kwiton, Bin Laden, kabasi, atomic bomb, five star, Og, and giant whistle bombs.
Allowed firecrackers includes baby rocket, bawang, small triangle, pulling of strings, paper caps, el diablo, and sky rocket (kwitis), sparklers, luces, fountains, jumbo regular and special, mabuhay, Roman candle, trompillo, air wolf, whistle device, and butterfly.
(ROEL T. AMAZONA)