DOH relaunches ‘Iwas Paputok’, eyes zero injury from firecrackers


MANILA — Various government agencies led by the Department of Health (DOH) and private groups on Monday relaunched “Oplan: Iwas Paputok” in the hope of achieving zero firecracker-related injury this coming New Year.

DOH Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo took the opportunity to remind the public about Executive Order No. 28 on the regulation of the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.

“The DOH recognizes that this campaign involves various agencies. Close collaboration and the conduct of strategic advocacy activities with different stakeholders is necessary,” said Bayugo during the event, held at the Antonio Maceda Integrated School in Manga Ave., Sampaloc, Manila.

The campaign, which involves the DOH-National Capital Region (NCR), Department of Education, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, City of Manila, and EcoWaste Coalition, pushes for a community fireworks display, where so-called “experts” would handle the fireworks instead of individual revelers, minimizing the risk of injuries.

From Dec. 21, 2016 to Jan. 5, 2017, a total of 630 injuries were recorded by the DOH. The figure is 32 percent, or 292 cases, less than the previous year, and 34 percent, or 319 cases, less than the average for the 2011-2015 period.

Of last year’s 630 injuries, 627 were from fireworks, while three ingested firecrackers.

Despite the decline, the DOH targets zero injury from firecrackers.

Bayugo thus encouraged everyone to join the community fireworks displays in their respective barangays (villages).

“In the unfortunate event of an injury, seek immediate medical treatment,” he advised.

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