The average number of firecracker-related injuries for New Year’s Eve dropped to the lowest in 10 years, the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) reported on Sunday, January 1.
The DOH has recorded a total of 350 firecracker-related injuries as of 6 a.m. on January 1, 2017, which is 60 percent lower compared to the average 1,000 cases from 2006 to 2016.
“People are now afraid to light firecrackers because of the president (Rodrigo Duterte),” Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said in a press conference on Sunday.
She added that Filipinos have “this impression” that they would be punished if they use firecrackers.
Last month, Duterte said he would issue an order to ban people from using firecrackers, just like what he as mayor of Davao City, where he limited community fireworks displays.
“The least that I can say or do is just to issue a warning that it’s very, very dangerous,” Duterte previously said, pending the order’s release.
Among the 350 cases, Ubial said 348 were caused by firecracker injuries. The remaining two, on the other hand, were caused by firecracker ingestion.
Ubial also noted that more than half of the victims were children below 15 years old, with two years old as the youngest and 71 years old as the oldest.
84 percent of the total injured were male.
The DOH recorded the “piccolo” as the most common cause of injuries with 132 cases, followed by Boga with 18 cases. Both are considered illegal firecrackers in the country.
The National Capital Region (NCR) has been reported as the place with the highest number of firecracker injuries nationwide, with 211 cases or 60 percent of total injuries. It was followed by Western Visayas (Region 6) with ten percent and Central Luzon with eight percent.
Ubial said the fireworks surveillance, which started on December 21, 2016 will continue until January 5 of this new year.
The DOH previously recorded a total of 932 firecracker-related injuries from December 21, 2015 to January 5, 2016.