The Department of Health (DOH) has issued a memorandum placing government health workers particularly those on duty in hospitals under Code White Alert effective December 21, 2020 to January 5, 2021 as part of their Oplan Iwas Paputok campaign during the yuletide season this year. .
Code White Alert, according to DOH, refers to the readiness of hospital manpower like general and orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, operating room nurses, ophthalmologists, and otorhinolaryngologists, to respond to any emergency situation.
Health Education Promotion Officer II Hannah Ebeo, RN of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) disclosed during the recent Kapihan sa Kapitolyo media forum that starting on December 21, they will submit a daily report to DOH Central Office based in Metro Manila on the number of firecracker-related injuries in South Cotabato, detailing the place of incident, age group of the victim, type of firecracker used (whether legal or illegal), as reported by both government and private hospitals.
HEPO Ebeo reported that the province incurred a total of 28 firecracker-related injuries based from the December 2019 to January 2020 report that they submitted to DOH.
IPHO records showed that “5-star” registered the highest number of firecracker-related injury at 5 among illegal firecrackers, while “kwitis” and “pasirit” both registered 4 injury cases each among legal firecrackers. Likewise, the 0 – 10 age group incurred the highest among victims at 14, while the top 4 towns in terms of number if injury cases were Norala (7), Surallah (6), City of Koronadal (5) and T’boli (4).
Police Captain JS Pedrosa representing the South Cotabato Police Provincial Office also said during the media forum that they will be vigilant in enforcing the implementing rules and regulation of the firecracker and pyrotechnic law particularly on the apprehension of those selling illegal firecrackers.
He was likewise joined by Jomel Alo, President of the Koronadal City Firecracker and Pyrotechnic Retailers Association, who assured that his members will not sell illegal firecrackers or pyrotechnics to the public during the holiday season.