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DOH: don’t play with firecrackers on New Year’s eve

by Jericho Zafra

CELEBRATE the new year with a bang – without firecrackers.

This was how the Department of Health (DOH) reminded the public to avoid firecrackers usage for the upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration.

“Let us welcome the year 2023 energized, safe, and whole by avoiding fireworks,” said DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a media forum.

In 2020, the department recorded 122 firecracker-related injuries while in 2021, it surged to 188 cases. But compared to the pre-pandemic years, there is a downward trend in the tally of firecracker victims, she noted.

Instead of using firecrackers, the health department said Filipinos should “just bang their pots and pans or if they have drums at home instead of spending and lighting these fireworks, let’s just turn on the lights at home or wear glow sticks for our new year glow.”

She likewise suggested singing and dancing along with loud music and “organizing online parties” for friends and loved ones during the celebration.

However, if the use of firecrackers cannot be avoided, Vergeire said those who were injured due to firecrackers are advised to immediately wash the wound in running water and soap and cover it with gauze or a clean cloth to prevent infection. She also said after applying first aid procedures, immediately bring the patient to the nearest healthcare facility to be given the necessary treatment.

Additionally, the DOH announced that during the holiday season, aside from monitoring COVID-19 cases, they are also keeping an eye on the increasing number of flu due to the dramatic weather fluctuations. 

Vergeire, on the other hand, emphasized that Filipinos can protect themselves from these diseases by adhering to minimum public health standards, washing their hands, and wearing face masks.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police released the list of firecrackers that are prohibited and banned for public use, selling, and manufacturing:

  • Watusi
  • Piccolo
  • Poppop
  • Five Star
  • Pla-pla
  • Lolo Thunder
  • Giant Bawang
  • Giant Whistle Bomb
  • Atomic Bomb
  • Goodbye Bading
  • Large-sized Judas Belt
  • Goodbye Philippines
  • Goodbye Delima
  • Bin Laden
  • Hello Columbia
  • Mother Rockets
  • Goodbye Napoles
  • Coke-in-Can
  • Super Yolanda
  • Pillbox
  • Boga,
  • Kwiton
  • Kabasi
  • All overweight and oversized firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices products
  • Other types of firecrackers with other brands/names are equivalent to those that are prohibited.

In 2017, Rodrigo Duterte, who was serving as president at the time, issued Executive Order (EO) 28, which regulated the use of firecrackers and other types of pyrotechnic devices. 

Following the EO, the chief of the PNP was given the authority to decide what kinds of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices are considered illegal. 

Additionally, the executive order grants the PNP the authority to establish the guidelines that are required to effectively supervise and regulate the usage of firecrackers.


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