By DELIA BAGNI and MIRRIAM P. AQUINO/PIA La Union
BAGUIO CITY — The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) reported a rise while the Ilocos Region reported a drop in firecracker related injuries.
According to Department of Health Cordillera Administrative Region (DOH-CAR) fireworks related incidents increased between the period of 2011 to January 3, 2013 despite the total ban of firecrackers in the City, during a press conference in DOH Trainimg Center, January 3, 2013.
The Center for Health and Development – Cordillera (CHD-CAR) Assistant Regional Director Dr. Amelita Pangilinan, said that the incidents increased by 2 cases from last year’s record of 52, as of now they have listed 54 cases and will keep count until January 5.
Most cases recorded were in Abra with 18, followed by Baguio City with 15, Benguet 7, Apayao 4, Mountain Province 4, Ifugao 3 and Kalinga 3.
Among the 54 victims, a 7 year old suffered blast burns that called for the amputation of a hand and an eye injury caused by a plapla; a whistle bomb blast victim whose hand maybe amputated too; 5 other who suffered from eye injuries.
Thirty one of the victims were under the 6 to 12-years-old, seven were 13 to 18 years old, one under five year old,13 were 19 years old and above.
Based on the CHD-CAR data a stray bullet-injury involving a 13 year old boy who was wounded on the left forearm was reported in Dagupan Tabuk City, Kalinga January 1.
Ruby Magsino, Disease Surveillance Officer of HSO-Baguio City, added that they are not happy about the result of the total ban of pyrothecnic and firecrackers order of the city mayor. She states that there is a posibility that cases decreased if the total ban of firecrackers was strictly implemented.
However, she added that parents are also liable in the incidents, especially those involving victims under 6 to 12 years old. Parents must supervise their children specially that most cases involved relighting firecrackers picked up by the victims.
Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Regional Public Information Officer Jesus Dollente also reported nine cases of structural fires kindled by wayward blasts.
He said that two establishments and a house in Bangued Abra were damaged by fire caused by skylanterns and a kwitis. Other areas such as Kiangan reported one case, one in Lagawe, Ifugao, one in Besao, Mountain Province and one in Pico, La Trinidad Benguet. Forest fires were also recorded in La Trinidad and Itogon, Benguet.
Meanwhile, the Center for Health Development-Ilocos Health Emergency Management Staff (CHD-1 HEMS) reported a drop in cases of firecracker and stray bullet injuries during the period December 18, 2012 to midnight of January 2, 2013 in Region 1.
CHD1-HEMS Coordinator Dra. Ma. Racquel R. Magalong said, there were a total of 205 cases of firecracker injuries in the said period with 177 male and 28 female victims, and ages ranging from two to 68 years old.
This, Magalong said, was 38 percent lower from the 329 cases in same period last year.
About 112 of this cases were due to illegal firecrackers including ‘Goodbye Philippines’. Twenty-four of the 112 victims cannot recall the kind of firecracker they used and almost half were active handlers, she added.
Firecrackers used include: Piccolo-62, kwitis-31, unknown-24, luces-18, five star-18, others-17, whistle bomb-12, pla-pla-8, bawang-6, fountain-4, pill box-3, and Goodbye Philippines-2.
For stray-bullet-victims, there were three cases recorded one each in Tubao, La Union; Sarrat, Ilocos Norte; and Nagbukel, Ilocos Sur. This is lower from that of last year’s 14 cases.
Of the 205 cases in Region 1, Pangasinan recorded the highest at 90, followed by Ilocos Sur, 44; Ilocos Norte, 38; and La Union, the lowest at 33 cases.
The injuries occured at the height of the New Year celebration, eve of December 31 until January 1.
Magalong said that the lesser number of injuries was due to the extensive campaign on Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction by the DOH in partnership with the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Fire Protection. # nordis.net