DOH-Region 3 calls on LGUs to impose ‘no buying, no selling’ of firecrackers this holiday

Marje Pelayo   •   December 18, 2018   •   2523

Fire cracker seller | Photo courtesy: Cheryl Ravelo-Gagalac/Reuters

PAMPANGA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) Region 3 is encouraging local government units (LGU) to impose a ban on sales and purchase of firecrackers to achieve its target of zero-casualties in the New Year celebrations.

“I think it’s reachable if you enforce it. Strictly enforce it – no buying, no selling,” said Jessie Fantone, the head of the DOH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit in Region 3.

In a press conference on Tuesday (December 18), the regional health officials asked the cooperation of the local government unit to promote and support the agency’s ‘Iwas Paputok’ campaign.

“Although napansin nga natin na bumaba this year we would still like to thank the PNP DILG for being more strict in the implementation of selling. The DOH can only remind the people na its dangerous to their health,” Fantone said.

Since 2015, firecracker-related injuries in Region 3 has dropped from 655 to 539 in 2016 to about half or 390 in 2017.

In 2017, the highest number recorded was in Pampanga with 159 followed by Bulacan and Nueva Ecija with 87 and 46, respectively.

Most common injuries were firecracker burns and wounds at 88%, with only 7% who suffered from eye injuries.

Meanwhile, the DOH-Region 3 will impose a code white alert beginning December 21, 2018 to January 2, 2019.

This means that hospitals will be closely monitoring firecracker-related incidents and will be on call in case of firecracker-related emergencies.

“We have standby teams in case magkaroon ng eventualities, mass casualty incident and we have available resources at our emergency rooms po sa lahat ng DOH Hospitals to manage injuries po pwedeng dalhin sa ating DOH hospitals,” said Rosanna Rosell, Representative for DOH-DRRMH Program.

The DOH reminds victims of firecrackers to wash the wound properly with clean water and immediately go to the nearest hospital for proper medical attention. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Leslie Huidem)

DTI orders PNP to seize firecrackers with no PS markings

Maris Federez   •   December 20, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has tasked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to confiscate firecrackers being sold in Bulacan without Product Safety (PS) markings.

In an inspection it conducted in Bocaue, Bulacan on Friday (Dec. 20), the DTI checked several types of firecrackers to see if they have the PS marking.

According to DTI Assistant Secretary for Consumer Protection Group Atty. Anne Claire Cabochan, the PS mark is proof that the product has undergone a thorough inspection and is safe to use.

“Lalo na yung mga produktong na medyo delicate to handle kung hindi yan dumaan ng certification process yung manufacturing nila tsaka yung handling storage at lahat eh hindi dumadaan sa tamang proseso mas malaki yung magiging danger,” Cabochan said.

Cabochan said the DTI will make an inventory of all those without the PS markings and will ask the PNP to confiscate the product after inventory.

The DTI also announced that the license of Phoenix Fireworks has already expired since Wednesday (Dec.18).

With this, the legitimate manufacturers left in the market as far as the DTI is concerned are Tiger Fireworks and Pegasus Fireworks.

The agency, however, clarified that Phoenix can still sell the rest of its fireworks products as they were manufactured before the expiration of its license. — (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf

PNP-FEO releases list of prohibited firecrackers

Maris Federez   •   November 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police-Firearms and Explosives Office (PNP-FEO) on Wednesday (November 13) released to the public the list of prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

According to FEO acting director Rommil Mitra, they released the list to notify the public this early of the kinds of firecrackers and pyrotechnics that must not be sold in the market.

Included in the list are explosives that are overweight (more than 1/3 teaspoon or more than 0.2 grams); oversized; with fuse that is either short (burns out in less than 3 seconds) or long (burns for more than 6 seconds); imported and unlabeled; and with sulphur or phosphorous mixed in chlorates.

Meanwhile, the list of banned firecrackers includes:

  • piccolo
  • super lolo
  • atomic triangle
  • large judas belt
  • large bawang
  • pillbox
  • bosa
  • goodbye Philippines
  • bin laden
  • mother rocket
  • lolo thunder
  • coke in can
  • atomic bomb
  • five star
  • pla-pla
  • giant whistle bomb
  • kabasi
  • watusi

On the other hand, firecrackers that should be used inside the firecracker zone are as follows:

  • baby rocket
  • bawang
  • el diablo
  • judas belt
  • paper caps
  • pulling of strings
  • sky rocket or kwitis
  • small trianggulo

Pyrotechnics that are allowed to be used outside the firecracker zone:

  • butterfly
  • fountain
  • jumbo regular at special
  • luces
  • mabuhay
  • roman candle
  • sparklers
  • trompillo
  • whistle devices

The PNO-FEO reminds the public to maintain safety by refraining from buying banned or prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

Mitra also warned that stores that will be caught selling the banned products will have their licenses revoked and their merchandise confiscated. (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

DOH agrees with FDA decision to ban Dengvaxia in Phl

Maris Federez   •   August 22, 2019

A Filipino nurse prepares to administer an anti-dengue vaccine during a nationwide vaccination at a school in the flood-prone city of Marikina, east of Manila, Philippines, 04 April 2016. (Photoville International / FILE)

The Department of Health (DOH) has rejected the request of Sanofi Pasteur to overturn the decision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the use of Dengvaxia vaccine in the Philippines.

With this, the DOH approved the ruling of the FDA to permanently revoke the certificate of product registration of Dengvaxia for Sanofi’s failure to submit the necessary post-approval requirements.

“The decision concerns Sanofi’s complete disregard of FDA regulations, which were precisely put in place by law to ensure safety,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

Although Sanofi was able to submit the first two versions of its risk management plans (RMP), the pharmaceutical company failed to submit the third and final version of the plan.

The DOH said, however, that Sanofi may apply for a new certificate of product registration (CPR) for Dengvaxia but this must be in accordance with the FDA regulations.

“Given that Dengvaxia is an innovative drug, the importance of complying with these post-marketing commitments is critical to public safety,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the department has assured that it continues to address the increasing cases of dengue in the country. /mbmf

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