AKSYON PAPUTOK INJURY REDUCTION PROGRAM
THE 68 percent drop in firecracker-related injuries during the New Year’s eve revelry is not enough.
This was the contention of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and said he aims to further decrease the number to 80 to 100 percent next year by strengthening the Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction (APIR) program.
Duque, in an interview over Bombo Radyo Dagupan on Jan. 2, said it is possible to achieve it if parents help the government in the campaign by not allowing their children to buy and use firecrackers.
“Meron pa ring mga pasaway na bata, mga magulang na pinababayaan ang kanilang mga anak,” Duque said.
He pointed out that most of the injured victims are aged 15 years old and below.
“It’s a big responsibility of parents. They should look around their houses, confiscate hidden firecrackers so that their children could not light them,” he added.
He said parents’ cooperation is vital in order to have a truly safe New Year’s celebration next year as he added that it would be impossible to deploy policemen in every home so parents should help authorities.
He said the government’s Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction program can be strengthened with the parents’ involvement.
Duque said the key to the 68 percent drop in firecracker injuries this year was President Rodrigo’s Executive Order No. 28 that bans certain kinds of firecrackers.
“He (the President) knows this is what is needed, he knows this is the way (to prevent injuries),” Duque said.
He said people should thank Duterte for showing his political will when he signed EO 28. “If not for this, it would have been more difficult to decrease the number of casualties,” Duque said.
“But it’s still saddening because there are some injured, hospitalized, their hands amputated. Our aim is to have zero casualty next year,” he said. (Eva Visperas)