Malacanang saddened over increase in firecracker casualties

January 3, 2011 1:37 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 2 — Malacañang expressed sadness over the increase in the number of victims, particularly young children, who were hurt in welcoming the New Year due to the proliferation of firecrackers.

In an interview over government-run radio station dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ramon Carandang lamented that the government’s advice to the Filipino people against using firecrackers went unheeded.

Earlier, President Benigno S. Aquino III made a call for parents to disallow their children from using firecrackers to prevent any accident from happening.

“Inaasahan natin na yung mga panawagan ni Pangulo na ganun, he’s just calling on the people to do what is good for themselves. So, I guess, we can say na nakakalungkot na hindi nasunod ito noong nakaraang New Year,” Carandang said.

In its report, the Department of Health said that there was a total of 546 injuries reported from Dec. 21 to 31 last year, an increase of 34 (or seven percent) compared to the same period in 2009.

Of this number, 518 (95 percent) were due to firework injuries, 20 (four percent) to stray bullets and 8 (one percent) to firework ingestion/poisoning.

Among those who sustained firework injuries, 408 (79 percent) were males whose ages ranged from one year to 74 years (median: 14 years).

The top three regions with the most number of injuries were the National Capital Region (301 cases or 58 percent), Ilocos region (35 cases or seven percent) and Western Visayas (29 cases or six percent).

The DOH said that the increase in the number of injuries was “probably due to the proliferation of cheap, low quality and prohibited fireworks that injured a bigger number of children.” (PNA) scs/PCOO/rsm

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