42 arrested for illegal firecrackers; injuries hit 211 

FORTY-TWO individuals were arrested for using and selling illegal firecrackers on New Year’s Day, a police official said on Monday.  

Philippine National Police-Public Information Office chief Redrico A. Maranan said charges have been filed against the suspects.   

“Cases have been filed against those arrested for illegal firecrackers and we will remain on full alert until Jan. 6,” he said in a televised briefing.  

The New Year’s Eve celebration was generally peaceful, he said.   

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), meanwhile, reported 10 fire incidents related to firecrackers nationwide, higher than last years tally.   

“We can attribute this increased activity to the excitement of our countrymen to engage in firework activities this year,” BFP Spokesperson Analee Carbajal-Atienza told the same briefing in mixed English and Filipino.  

The Department of Health (DoH) recorded 211 fireworks-related injuries from Dec. 21 to Jan. 2, up 16% from 182 in the same period the previous year, but 30% lower compared to the five-year average of 300 cases.  

The total increased by 74 from Jan. 1s tally of 137, according to the departments monitoring report as of 6 a.m. on Jan. 2.  

Most of the cases were in the capital region Metro Manila with 102, accounting for 48% of the total. The Western Visayas region in central Philippines was second with 12, and Central Luzon with nine.   

Majority of the patients were male at 79%, with median age at 17.   

DoH said 60 of the cases sustained eye injuries while 11 had blast or burn injuries with amputation.  

Half of the patients were actively involvedin the use of firecrackers.  

None of the reported cases involved stray bullets or fireworks ingestion, according to DoH.  

“Again, we hope that our countrymen in the coming years observe safer New Year’s celebrations,” it said in Filipino. John Victor D. Ordoñez