LAOAG CITY—The Philippine National Police (PNP) is eyeing zero incidence of firecracker injuries and indiscriminate firing during the New Year’s revelry in Ilocos Region.
During the command visit to Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office on Saturday, Chief Supt Romulo Sapitula, Police Regional Office (PRO1) director, ordered his men to “intensify their campaign on crime prevention and welcome 2019 with zero incident of firecracker-related injuries or stray bullets.”
Since the onset of Christmas celebration, police personnel assigned in the 21 towns and two cities of the province have been on full alert status.
In coordination with local government units, police authorities have tightened their monitoring of the use of prohibited firecrackers.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health’s nationwide campaign on “Iwas Paputok” is also being actively shared on social networking sites, reminding the public to observe New Year safety tips.
In Batac City, residents were reminded that the only approved firecracker and pyrotechnics zone is at the Batac fish farm in Barangay Billoca.
Under Republic Act 7183, any person who manufactures, sells, distributes or uses banned firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices shall be punished by a fine of PHP20,000 to PHP30,000 or an imprisonment of six months to one year.
Banned firecrackers include, but not limited to piccolo, super lolo, whistle bomb, goodbye earth, atomic big, triangulo, judas belt, watusi and all firecrackers with gunpowder exceeding two grams or 1.3 teaspoons.
Record from the Department of Health shows there were 167 blast-related injuries in Region 1 in 2017 compared to 188 reported cases in 2016.
Per province, Ilocos Norte has the least number of cases at four, next to Ilocos Sur with 17, La Union with 23 and Pangasinan with 113.
With the firecracker law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, the DOH hopes for a continuing decrease of firecracker-related injuries this year. PNA-northboundasia.com