MANILA, Philippines – Hospitals are getting ready for the merry-makings this holiday specifically in welcoming the new year.
As early as today, the Department of Health (DOH) is making sure that emergency equipment, tools, medicines and staff at Tondo Medical Center are all set to receive patients.
The said hospital is the main destination for fireworks and pyrotechnic victims coming from Manila, Navotas and Caloocan during the year-end revelry.
“Ang mga pasyente po namin dito sa ospital sa nakaraang tatlong taon, wala naman po talagang na admit puro mga minor injuries lang so mga minor operations lang po ang ginawa naming,” explained Dr. Maria Isabelita Estrella, Medical Center Chief II of Tondo Medical Center.
The hospital record shows significant decline in the number of admitted firework-related victims from Manila in the recent years.
From 41 in 2015, the number declined to 29 in 2016 and 24 in 2017.
The DOH hopes that there will be fewer fireworks-related victims this year.
Estrella, noted however, that the hospital has not received victims of stray bullets or fireworks poisoning since 2015.
“Nakakapanlumo lang malaman na ang pinaka malaking dahilan ng ating mga injuires sa fireworks ay dahil sa bawal na paputok, (na) piccolo. So kailangan siguro na pag-ibayuhin pa ang pag-regulate, pag-control,” said DOH Undersecretary for Public Health Myrna Cabotaje.
Executive order number 28, Series of 2017 regulates and control the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices in the country.
It also bans the use of strong and harmful firecrackers such as watusi, piccolo, super lolo, atomic triangle, Judas belt, large bawang, pillbox, goodbye Philippines, mother rocket, lolo thunder, bin laden, pla-pla, giant whistle bomb, and other giant unlabeled firecrackers.
“Sa kagawaran ng kalusugan gusto nating malusog kayo. Sana sa amin total firecracker ban pero gusto natin magsaya. Tapos iyong mga industry ay gusto naman kumita ng konti kaya iwas paputok lang kaya ang ine-encourage natin ay fireworks display,” Cabotaje said.
The DOH strongly reminds the public, especially parents, to tell their children not to pick up failed or unexploded fireworks to prevent harm.
The agency likewise reminds households to double check the surrounding area for the fireworks display to avoid fire and other untoward incidents. Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)