BAGUIO CITY — The Department of Health (DOH) – Cordillera lauded 24 local government units (LGUs) in the region for passing ordinances banning the sale and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.
In an interview Friday, DOH Center for Health Development medical officer, Dr. Alexei Marrero, identified these LGUs as the towns of Asipulo, Banaue, Hingyon, Kiangan, Lamut, and Mayoyao in Ifugao province; Kibungan, Sablan, Mankayan, Bakun, Bokod, and Buguias in Benguet province; Tabuk City and the towns of Rizal, Balbalan, Tinglayan, Lubuagan, and Pasil in Kalinga province; and Bauko, Sabangan, Besao, Sagada, Tadian and Bontoc in Mountain Province.
“These 24 LGUs were recognized because of their relentless efforts and initiatives in advocating the total ban and sale of firecracker and pyrotechnics in their communities,” Marrero said, adding that they also promote community fireworks displays, which enable the public to enjoy the fireworks while staying safe.
In Baguio, where an ordinance has yet to be passed, the city mayor has issued an Administrative Order prohibiting the sale of fireworks in the city, and has instead organized a community fireworks display at the Burnham Park.
In the provinces of Abra and Apayao, the DOH-Cordillera was still confirming the existence of local ordinances.
“To advocate for other LGUs to craft an ordinance prohibiting the sale, distribution and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnics in the region, we have different DOH representatives designated in other provinces who continuously lobby for their passage,” Marrero said.
He noted that DOH representatives have been conducting a massive information dissemination campaign regarding the ill-effects of firecrackers and pyrotechnics through television and radio plugs, as well as graphic newspaper advertisements showing photos of people missing body parts.
Cordillera recorded six firecracker-related injuries during the Yuletide season in the first week of 2018 — three in Baguio, two in Benguet, and one in Mountain Province.
The region recorded a total of 22 cases of firecracker injuries in 2017 and 70 cases in 2014.
Carrying the theme “Oplan: Iwas paputok, Fireworks Display ang Patok! Makiisa sa Community Fireworks sa Inyong Lugar”, the health department urges the public to participate in community fireworks display rather than having their own.
The Baguio Health Services office is hoping to have zero firecracker-related injuries this holiday season until the first week of 2019.
Pamela Mariz Geminiano/PNA-northboundasia.com