Palawan health officials tell residents ‘to keep safe’ on New Year vs dangerous firecrackers

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, (PNA) -–Health officials Friday called on residents of Palawan “to keep safe” during the celebration of New Year after a child was admitted to the Ospital ng Palawan (OnP) due to a piccolo firecracker incident five days before the celebration.

Department of Health (DOH) Regional Director Ariel Valencia said he was hoping that nothing would follow the incident, and that parents should urge their children not to play with dangerous explosive paper cartridges, such as piccolo, that are being sold before New Year because they can seriously harm them.

Valencia said the piccolo, although small, is a banned firecracker in the Philippines.

He said it is better to look for noise-making alternatives for children to celebrate the New Year, like used cans, sticks that make sounds when hit together, and others.

To ensure that no serious firecracker incident will happen again, Valencia said the DOH was monitoring and disseminating information on banned firecrackers.

”The target is reduction on firecracker-related incidents so, we remain monitoring and conducting information dissemination for a safe New Year celebration,” he said.

In related news, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in this city and its municipal counterparts are conducting massive information drives to ensure that banned firecrackers do not hit the stands.

Fire Inspector Herald Castillo said firecracker stores allowed to go on business at the New City Public Market are constantly being monitored to prevent the sale of those that have been banned, like piccolo, triangulo, sinturon ni hudas, Yolanda, and even watusi that can be ingested and is poisonous.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Friday also conducted monitoring and inspection of the firecrackers stalls to make sure that those being sold have passed Philippine standard, and are priced correctly, according to Percival Labunita.

He reminded that cigarettes and candles should not be used to set off any firecracker on New Year’s Day, and for families to at least have first aid kits at home.

“We gave away informative materials to those who wish to buy so that they will know what to look for, and buy only those that are safe,” he said.