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‘Cracker victims fewer by 30%’

The Health department on Tuesday reported only seven cases of fireworks-related injuries from 6 a.m. on Dec. 21 up to the same time on Dec. 24.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque said this year’s cases were so far 30 percent lower than those recorded in the same period last year. 

He made his statement even as Rep. Alfredo Garbin wants a 20-percent excise tax on dangerous firecrackers to keep “irresponsible” people away from them.

“To reduce the number of firecracker casualties, regulate the cost of dangerous firecrackers,” Garbin said.

“I have House Bill 1517 that provides for a 20-percent tax on fireworks and firecrackers,” he said.

He said law enforcement efforts “have not been enough to bring down the number of deaths and injuries each year from the use of firecrackers.”

Meanwhile, the group Ecowaste Coalition on Tuesday appealed to the people to celebrate Christmas with less holiday trash.

“We urge everyone to be mindful of what we consume and dispose of during this most joyful time of the year to reduce the negative impact of the festivities on public health and the environment,” said Ecowaste zero waste campaigner Jove Benosa.

“The celebrations need not make the garbage situation worse.”

Duque said the seven cases were also 56 percent lower than the five-year average (2014 to 2018) of 16 cases from the same time period.

The age range of the victims were four to 29, with the median at 10 years old. The types of injury sustained were burn injury without amputation, five and eye injury, two.

The fireworks causing injury were Baby rocket, Boga. Kalburo, Kwitis, Luces and Mini bomb. 

The department resorted to wound management in treating the victims, four of whom were active users and three passive users.

Of the seven cases, one was advised admission but refused. The other six cases were sent home after treatment.

Duque said no fireworks ingestion and stray bullet cases nor death were reported. With Rio N. Araja and Joel E. Zurbano

READ: NCRPO tabs 400 areas as firecracker use zones

READ: 43 injured 3 days into New Year, says DOH

Topics: Department of Health , Francisco Duque , fireworks-related injuries , Alfredo Garbin
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