Se­ri­ous drive needed vs. deadly fire­crack­ers

The Freeman - - OPINION -

As it aims for a “zero in­jury” cel­e­bra­tion the De­part­ment of Health in Cen­tral Visayas is in­ten­si­fy­ing a cam­paign in its bid to min­i­mize the risks and harm­ful ef­fects of us­ing fire­crack­ers dur­ing the Christ­mas and New Year revelry.

On Wed­nes­day, DOH-7 launched the “Iwas Pa­putok,” an anti-fire­cracker drive that pro­motes other ma­te­ri­als as al­ter­na­tives. This pro­gram also calls for the in­sti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion of com­mu­ni­ty­based fire­works dis­plays in­stead of the usual fire­crack­ers and py­rotech­nic ma­te­ri­als.

Part of the drive, said Dr. Shel­bay Blanco, clus­ter head of the Re­gional Epi­demi­ol­ogy and Sur­veil­lance Unit of DOH-7, is for lo­cal gov­ern­ment units and au­thor­i­ties to strictly reg­u­late the sell­ing of fire­crack­ers.

The hold­ing of com­mu­nity fire­works dis­plays, an ini­tia­tive started last year through Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der 28, is also be­ing pushed. Health of­fi­cials ex­pect that through the pro­gram cases of fire­cracker in­juries will de­crease.

Well, it’s good the au­thor­i­ties are height­en­ing their cru­sade against the dan­ger of fire­cracker use. As peo­ple are start­ing to pre­pare for Christ­mas and the New Year, the DOH pro­gram is a good re­minder that ev­ery­one should avoid us­ing deadly fire­crack­ers dur­ing their cel­e­bra­tions.

Each year, fire­crack­ers in­jure hun­dreds dur­ing the Christ­mas and New Year cel­e­bra­tions across the coun­try. In fact, there are those who lose their lives due to the se­ri­ous wounds they suf­fered.

These in­ci­dents man­aged to oc­cur de­spite the mas­sive cam­paign by the DOH and other gov­ern­ment agen­cies that con­stantly re­mind the peo­ple to re­frain from us­ing fire­crack­ers, es­pe­cially those banned by au­thor­i­ties.

This leads many to think that the gov­ern­ment’s in­for­ma­tion cam­paign is not re­ally ef­fec­tive in the drive for “zero in­jury” dur­ing the Christ­mas and New Year cel­e­bra­tions be­cause there are those who still pa­tron­ize banned fire­crack­ers dur­ing their rev­el­ries.

What we need is a thor­ough drive against the mak­ers of pro­hib­ited fire­crack­ers. Re­li­giously go­ing af­ter them will cer­tainly send a strong sig­nal that the gov­ern­ment is se­ri­ous in its cru­sade for a safe cel­e­bra­tion.

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