• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
As Negrenses prepare to welcome 2023, local authorities and officials advised them to put “safety first” in New Year’s eve celebrations.
This developed as Negros Occidental provincial government-managed hospitals were placed on “Code White” alert status, while all city and municipal disaster risk and reduction management offices were ordered to remain in blue alert status, in preparation for the festivities.
“We are praying and hoping that everyone of us will put our safety into our mind as top priority,” Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz said, speaking in behalf of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer.
“Code White” alert refers to the readiness of hospital manpower, such as doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel, to respond to any emergency situation.
The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office and Bacolod City Police urged the public to celebrate the New Year safely as they also intensified their crackdown against illegal firecrackers that pose hazards.
The Provincial Health Office of Negros Occidental discouraged the use of firecrackers.
Instead of lighting firecrackers on their own, the public is urged by the police to watch fireworks displays in their cities. Several local government units have designated common firecracker zones to promote the safe use of legal pyrotechnics in welcoming the new year.
Gun owners and police are also warned against using their firearms in the New Year revelry.*