Hospitals are now on “red alert” because of possible firecracker-related injuries on the New Year celebration, an official of the Private Hospitals Associations of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPI) said Wednesday.
PHAPI president Dr. Jose de Grano, in an interview with GMA News’ Unang Balita, said their members are prepared for any eventualities during the New Year revelry.
“Halos lahat naman talaga ng hospital, kumbaga mati-term natin na naka-red alert at handa po sila sa kung ano man ang mangyayari (Almost all hospitals we can say are on red alert and prepared for any eventualities),” he said.
Expecting strict enforcement of ordinances against illegal firecrackers, De Grano said they are hoping that there would be only a few cases of injuries this year.
As of Tuesday, the Department of Health (DOH) has reported 23 firecracker-related injuries involving “boga,” 5 star, piccolo, triangle, whistle bomb, baby rocket, and other unlabeled or imported firecrackers.
These patients were injured on the hands, head, eyes, neck, chest, thigh, and feet.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier appealed to the public to do away with the use of firecrackers.
“I just want to remind the public that the use of firecrackers is not allowed. So here in Executive Order 28, we show that the public must comply and our local governments, because we will implement law enforcement through Executive Order 28 aimed at regulating, controlling the sale and use of fireworks or firecrackers. And our PNP, Bureau of Fire Protection and LGUs expect us to strictly enforce this regulation,” Año told President Rodrigo Duterte during his pre-recorded Talk to the People on Monday night.
EO 28, signed by Duterte in 2017, provides for the regulation and control of the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices, the use of regulated firecrackers shall henceforth be confined to community fireworks displays.
The DILG chief said it was the responsibility of the PNP and the LGUs to enforce national and local policies regulating the manufacture and use of firecrackers through inspections, and confiscation and destruction of prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.
Violations include a fine of P20,000 to P30,000, imprisonment of six months to one year, cancellation of license and business permit and confiscation of inventory stocks.