Luistro backs total ban on fireworks

MANILA—Education Secretary Armin A. Luistro has expressed support for the Department of Health’s call for a total ban on firecrackers.

This as he urged revelers to welcome the New Year in a safe way.

“We encourage students and parents to celebrate the holiday season in a simple and peaceful way to protect our children from injuries,” Luistro said.

About 990 of the recorded injuries in 2009 were caused by fireworks. Those hit by stray bullets rose by 164 percent from 17 reported cases in 2008 to 45 last year.

The ages of the victims in 2009 ranged from two months to 78 years old where the median was 14 years old, according to the DoH. The most affected age groups were the 1-10 and the 11-20.

Seventy-nine percent of those injured were males, 57 percent of whom directly handled fireworks.

“We therefore reiterate this call because data show that children are most prone and vulnerable to firework-related injuries,” Luistro said.

The DoH suggests that local government units designate a common fireworks display area, which should be managed only by professionals, noting that even bystanders could be injured during the holiday revelries.

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