(Metro News) Firecracker-related injuries down 16% in Manila

January 2, 2010 1:10 am 

MANILA, Jan. 1 –The number of firecracker-related injuries in Manila fell by 16 percent in 2009, the Manila Police District (MPD) said on Friday.

Chief Supt. Rodolfo Magtibay, MPD director, said his district recorded 95 firecracker-related injuries from 5 a.m. of Dec. 31, 2009 to 5 a.m. of Jan. 1, 2010, a 16 percent drop from the 112 posted in 2008.

Magtibay said there was no recorded death due to firecrackers in 2009.

Also, Magtibay noted that no reported illegal discharge of firearms among the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during the revelry.

“We don’t receive report that someone from the PNP and AFP who illegally fired his service firearm during revelry,” said Magtibay.

The MPD director attributed the decline of number of firecracker-related injuries to the drive of MPD against the use of dangerous firecrackers. “We really go extra mile to implement the MPD drive as part of the efforts to prevent such incidents,” said Magtibay.

The MPD earlier seized some P100, 000-worth of illegal firecrackers in successive raids as it intensified its drive against dangerous firecrackers before the New Year revelry in Binondo, Manila.

Supt. Nelson Yabut, station commander of MPD Station 11 (Binondo), said the confiscation came after he ordered his men to confiscate dangerous and prohibited firecrackers from the period of Dec. 29 to Dec. 31.

This developed as the MPD authorities uncovered a new dangerous firecracker coming from China, which is reportedly a replica of a “shotgun.”

He said MPD is implementing campaign to take safe means of greeting the New Year.

Among the firecrackers that had been considered illegal under Republic Act 7183, known as “An Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, Distribution and Use of Firecrackers and Other Pyrotechnic Devices" included Watusi, Lolo Thunder, Pla-Pla, Judas Belt, and Piccolo.

Yabut and his men started their campaign with a motorcade around the Binondo district to inform the public on the ill-effects of using firecrackers not only to the people but also to the community and environment.

Police conducted operation in several stalls in Binondo, Divisoria, Recto, and Juan Luna and seized illegal firecrackers worth P146, 289.

Meanwhile. Yabut warned the public of the new toy shotgun which he described as fatal.

“The “toy” could be fatal to kids. This kind of toy shotgun, which is illegally traded in the flea market for P150, is a Chinese-made pyrotechnic product that looks like a real shotgun that needs to be loaded with ammunition-like load before firing it up in the air,” he said.

During media presentation, a photographer accidentally fired it in the ceiling of the police station and it busted the fluorescent lights.

Magtibay earlier ordered his men to arrest all those who will fire their guns and burn tires during the celebration of the New Year. (PNA) RMA/JES

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