Davao City goes silent anew on New Year’s eve

By Armando Fenequito Jr.

DAVAO CITY – For the 17th straight year, there was no incident of firecracker explosion or incident of stray bullet in welcoming the New Year.

According to Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) Chief of Clinics Dr. Ricardo Audan, the hospital did not receive any case related to firecracker explosion or the illegal discharge of guns from December 21, 2018 to the present.

“Ang monitoring ng firecracker injury and stray bullet injury in relation to yuletide season will go on up to Jan 6, 2019 (Our monitoring for the firecracker and stray bullet injuries in relation to yuletide season will go on up to January 6, 2019),” he said.

The SPMC was placed under Code White Alert since they will also be catering to patients from other provinces, not just in the region but the whole Mindanao.

Audan said that from December 21 where they started the code white alert, no one has been brought to the SPMC even from the neighboring provinces where no firecracker ban ordinances are enforced.

The city has not recorded any firecracker-related injury during the holidays ever since then mayor Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2001.

It was widely known that Duterte had put his foot down against the use of firecrackers in the city, and this was buttressed by the City Council which passed an ordinance in 2002, imposing a total ban on firecrackers in the city.

Under this ordinance, any person who will violate the ban will suffer a maximum fine of P5,000 or six months imprisonment.

Meanwhile, the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) city director Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum bared that was also no recorded arrest in relation to the firecracker ban.

Tagum said the 12 police stations in the city did not receive any reports of people who were using firecrackers and pyrotechnics while celebrating.

Tagum said he was thankful to Davaoeños for the cooperation and support to them by following the ordinance.

“They might’ve already realized the futility of going against the law,” he said.

He also said the warning of Mayor Sara Z. Duterte for immediate arrest of the violators is effective as no one being imprisoned during the holiday season.

Under this ordinance, any person found guilty will suffer a maximum fine of P5,000 or six months imprisonment as stated in the 16-year-old City Ordinance 060-02 Series of 2002 which prohibits m“the Manufacture, Sale, Distribution, Possession or Use of Firecrackers or Pyrotechnic Devices and such other similar devices and the exploding of Firecrackers or other similar explosives within the territorial jurisdiction of Davao City.”

Meanwhile, Department of Health (DOH) 11 information officer Yasmin Avila bared that the region recorde three firecracker related injuries in different areas.

Avila said the reported cases of injuries are from Baganga, Davao Oriental, Digos City, Davao del Sur and Baraullio E. Dujali, Davao del Norte.

She said DOH 11 will continue to monitor firecracker related injuries until January 5.