MANILA -- Public vigilance and President Rodrigo Duterte's Executive Order (EO) 28 played a key role in reducing firecracker casualties this year, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa said Tuesday.
"I would also like to thank the public for your unwavering support to the PNP and to our President for issuing Executive Order No. 28 that lead to the peaceful celebration of the New Year," he added.
Under the EO, the use of firecrackers shall be limited to community fireworks displays, which must be under supervision of a trained individual while pyrotechnic devices may still be used outside of community fireworks display areas.
Firecracker-related casualties for 2018 only totaled to 191 people compared to 350 recorded the previous year.
This year's firecracker casualties is 68 percent lower compared to last year's number of firecracker casualties," the PNP chief added.
“I am happy to announce that the PNP recorded zero casualty on stray bullet incident and an all-time low record in firecracker injuries in our campaign for a peaceful and safer celebration of the holiday season under 'Ligtas Kapaskuhan 2017",he said.
In line with this, Dela Rosa said 26 persons were arrested for illegal discharge of firearms (20 civilians, four PNP personnel, two from the AFP); 74 were arrested for illegal possession of firecrackers, and a total of PHP390,229 worth of illegal firecrackers were confiscated.
Aside from public support and Duterte's EO 28, the PNP chief said other factors that contributed to the decrease of firecracker casualties are the following:
•The LGU's support in implementation of EO 28 by designating a total of 3,495 community fireworks display zones
•The public vigilance against indiscriminate firing
•The PNP's 100 percent deployment during Christmas and New Year's Eve
•The PNP’s intensified campaign against illegal manufacture and selling of firecrackers.
"I would like to congratulate our police personnel for the effective operation and campaign on illegal firecrackers which resulted to an 'all-time low' incidents and casualties," the PNP chief concluded. (PNA)