Dagupan keeping up promise under Oplan: Iwas Paputok

DAGUPAN CITY — No firecracker injury was reported in Dagupan City so far as of Dec. 30, a news which was greeted with glee by the Dagupan City Police as there were already 19 recorded injuries in various parts of Pangasinan and 41 in the whole Region 1.

Supt. Neil Miro, police chief, expressed hope the zero injury will be maintained by the city a week after New Year so the city will not be again cited in the statistics as having the highest recorded firecracker injuries in the whole region and the entire country.

Records of Oplan: Iwas Paputok, an advocacy campaign of the Department of Health (DOH), showed that Dagupan registered 36 firecracker injuries in 2015 and 27 in 2016, which were deemed among the highest not only in Region 1 but the whole country.

Miro said so far, he is satisfied with the cooperation of the 31 barangay captains of Dagupan in the campaign against firecrackers through Oplan “Iwas Paputok” but they should not yet relax their guard as the hour of reckoning is not yet over.

Miro was interviewed by newsmen when he inspected the firecracker zone on a city lot in front of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) building in Barangay Poblacion Oeste where some 25 vendors are selling firecrackers, all of which are not banned by the authorities.

So far, no vendor was pulling out from the area in order to sell their wares in front of the West Central Elementary School, which they claimed to be the more convenient place to sell pyrotechnics being more accessible to buyers.

Some vendors threatened to get out from the designated firecracker zone on December 29 but Miro dared them to try him, which silenced most of them.

One vendor told newsmen that they will remain in the place till new year’s eve, provided the police will go after unlicensed vendors selling their ware somewhere else like in Caranglaan, Lucao and Bonuan Gueset.

Miro said they will also coordinate with the Calasiao police because there were reports that unlicensed vendors were selling firecrackers at the boundary of Dagupan and Calasiao and would just cross the boundary if they see Dagupan City policemen going after them.

At the same time, Miro announced that the barangay chairmen of Pogo Grande and Malued called on him in the morning of December 30, to give their worlds of honor that the noon-day New Year tradition in their villages of exploding powerful and over-sized firecrackers will not take place.

“I give my word of honor,”said Barangay Chairman George Galvan of Pogo Grande which was seconded by Barangay Chairwoman Filipinas de los Santos of Malued.

Galvan said the tradition in the barangay will be replaced by the beating of rice cooking receptacles simultaneously by residents going out of their respective houses to produce ear-splitting sounds, similar to fire cracker explosion.

De los Santos said her barangay will attempt to set up a record of lighted fountains lined up over one kilometer in the village street on New Year’s eve with one lighted fountain at one meter of each other. Leonardo Micua/PNA-northboundasia.com