Press Release/ 18 December 2017

The Department of Health (DOH) today conducted hospital rounds in selected hospitals within Metro Manila as part of its preparation and monitoring activities ahead of the Christmas and New Year celebrations.  This is to ensure that hospitals are prepared to provide medical services in the unfortunate event of an injury due to fireworks.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III revealed that he will also conduct the traditional hospital rounds with other DOH health officials on December 31 to monitor the hospital response in our hospitals.

The preparedness of all hospitals to attend to victims of fireworks-related injuries during this Yuletide Season is very important. We also reiterate our call to the public to join the community fireworks display instead of using firecrackers that can lead to injuries and even loss of life,” Secretary Duque emphasized.

In 2016, the DOH Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction (APIR) Surveillance reported a total of 630 fireworks-related injuries with no mortality. Although, cases declined significantly with 32% lower than the same period last year, the number of injuries is still substantial. Majority (181 cases, 29%) of the injured were from the age group 10-14 years old and were caused mostly by piccolo (31%) and kwitis (14%).

Let us be responsible citizens and do our part in this campaign to prevent injuries especially among children. We ask all parents to be watchful in ensuring that their children do not use exploding firecrackers such as ‘piccolo’ and ‘kwitis’ all throughout the season,” he added.

The Executive Order (EO) No. 28, also known as “Providing for The Regulation and Control of the Use of Firecrackers And Other Pyrotechnic Devices,” signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on June 20, 2017 strengthens the long-time advocacy of the DOH, Philippine National Police, Department of Interior and Local Government, Bureau of Fire Protection and other partner agencies to welcome the New Year safely by other ways of merriment and avoiding the use of fireworks and other harmful explosive devices during the festivities.

The health chief highlighted the same theme as last year “Oplan: IwasPaputok. Fireworks Display ang Patok! Makiisa sa Community Fireworks sa Inyong Lugar” towards the goal of achieving zero or the least possible number of fireworks-related injuries.

“The DOH is earnestly reminding everyone to prioritize safety as we celebrate the merriest time of the year by not using harmful explosives. Let us join the community fireworks display with our family and friends instead of risking our lives and limbs” Secretary Duque concluded.