• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Negros Occidental recorded 63 firecrackers related injuries in different provincial government managed hospitals, from December 21 to January 3 this year.
In comparison, the province logged 31 cases of firecrackers injuries from Dec. 21, 2021 to Jan. 2 last year, which translates to an increase of 100 percent in the number of victims.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ernell Tumimbang reported yesterday that 42.9 percent of the victims are those with ages from one to 10 years old, with “candle bomb, boga canon, five star, whistle bomb and triangulo” being the common type of firecrackers involved in the incidents. The figures given do not include the urbanized city of Bacolod.
Tumimbang also reported that 13 of the victims were under the influence of liquor.
On the other hand, the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) logged 17 cases of firecrackers injuries this year, with 10 of the victims being minors.
Both the NOCPPO and Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) also reported that they have not recorded any incidents involving the indiscriminate firing of guns.
Tumimbang said that not a single person was treated for bullet injuries in hospitals under the management of the provincial government.
Records of the Department of Health – Western Visayas showed that in the past years, Negros Occidental had the highest number of firecrackers related injuries in Region 6.
Asked on the increase in number of firecrackers related injuries, Tumimbang raised the possibility that there could a problem with the implementation of the selling and use of firecrackers, adding those being sold are not allowed, or regulated.
He also stressed the need to look at the regulations on the selling of firecrackers, which should be strictly implemented.
The Provincial Health Office of Negros Occidental had been campaigning against the use of firecrackers during the yuletide season celebrations.
Of the total number of cases this year, 42 are active cases, where the victims themselves lighting up the firecrackers, while 21 are passive cases.
The Bacolod City Police Office, on the other hand, reported two firecrackers injuries in Bacolod City.*