Seven towns ban fireworks, DOH asks others to follow

by Leia Castro

If other towns can do it, why can’t the others? This seems to be the challenge being posed by Department of Health officials to the local executives in the city and the region as five more towns have announced a ban on fireworks.

DOH Iwas Paputok coordinator Elnoria Bugnosen said the towns of Bakun, Buguias, Kabayan, La Trinidad, and Mankayan all in Benguet have already come up with resolutions banning the sale of fireworks to celebrate Christmas and New Year.

Last year, the municipalities of Lagawe in Ifugao and Besao in Mountain Province declared their towns as firecracker-free.

She said that in La Trinidad, mayor Artemion Galwan has also ordered that all government facilities be “firecracker-free.”

She added that if only all government facilities will be firecracker-free then that would definitely add a lot to their Iwas Paputok campaign.

In the Kapihan sa Baguio held last Wednesday, DOH and the police along with fire officials reiterated their call for stopping the use of firecrackers to celebrate the holidays.

The DOH has switched tactic now in their campaign by using gory pictures of amputated fingers, a bloody eye, a torn out cheek, and burned faces of children in their posters along with the slogan:
Ngayong Bagong Taon, gusto mo ba ng saya o disgrasya? Huwag kang magpaputok!”

Paulit-ulit na lang kami nananawa-gan, pero wala pa ring nangyayari,” said Dr. Manuel Quirino, head of the emergency room of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.

“Pinaka kawawa yung mga bata na napuputukan dahil namulot ng paputok o binigyan ng parents o uncles o ng ibang matatanda ng paputok para sila ang magpasabog,” he said. “Payo lang namin sa mga matatanda, ’wag na po kayong bumili ng paputok kung ibibigay niyo din lang sa mga bata kapag lasing na kayo.”

Statistics gathered by the DOH regional office from Dec. 21, 2007 to Jan. 4, 2008 show that there were 96 fireworks-related injuries monitored in the region’s 60 hospitals. These were caused mostly by the use of five star, lusis, and kwitis.



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