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DoH reports fewer firecracker injuries

The Department of Health yesterday reported fewer firecracker related injuries during the New Year’s revelry.

Health Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag, in his Twitter account, said that the DoH has monitored 524 fireworks and firecracker-related injuries as of 6 a.m. yesterday, 40 percent lower compared to 874 cases during the same period last year.

No deaths were recorded during the same period, according to Tayag.

He added that 82 percent or 426 are male while 55 percent or 284 are children below 15-years-old.

Tayag said that 34 or 177 are victims of the illegal firecracker “Piccolo” while 98 or 19 percent sustained eye injuries.

The DoH also recorded three victims of firecracker ingestion.

Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police Office yesterday reported an 86 percent decrease in the number of firecracker injuries in Metro Manila that it attributed to the overtime duty of NCRPO policemen and deployment of cops based in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

NCRPO chief Director Oscar Albayalde said only 167 firecracker injuries were reported from December 16, 2016 to January 2, 2017, compared to 881 from December 16, 2015 to January 2, 2016 or a decrease of 86 percent.

“This is a remarkable accomplishment for us. I commend all NCRPO policemen who have sacrificed holidays in the line of duty,” said Albayalde.

Albayalde said they also recorded a significant decrease in the number of stray bullet victims, with only three cases compared to 14 in the last New Year revelry.

But Albayalde said indiscriminate firing cases in Metro Manila increased to four this year from three last year.

He said that three of them were identified and were members of police and military. Albayalde identified them as Police Officers 1 Ronel Pantig, assigned in Pasig City, and Daniel Castillo, and Corporal Lovelyson Cutas.

“Castillo and Cutas are now under police custody. Pantig is still at large and is now being hunted. They all be charged,” according to Albayalde.

Hundreds of policemen doing desk jobs in Camp Crame were deployed to assist NCRPO policemen in containing the proliferation of illegal firecrackers in Metro Manila.

The NCRPO leadership had also forged alliance with local government units and other organizations for intelligence work and augmentation for police visibility.

Metro Manila was branded as hotspot for firecracker injuries and stray-bullet injuries based on past records. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos and Aaron B. Recuenco)