The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, Dec. 6 encouraged the public to remain positive despite the restrictions and limitations brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The statement was made as the agency led the virtual launch of the annual holiday campaign in an aim to guide the public on easy and doable ways to safely celebrate the holiday season.
“Gayunpaman, kahit nasa gitna tayo ng pandemya, patuloy nating pinatutunayan na walang matinding paghihirap ang makasisira sa diwa ng Pasko sa buhay ng bawat Pilipino (Even though we are in the middle of a pandemic, we continue to prove that no amount of struggle can ruin the true meaning of Christmas in the lives of every Filipino),” Director Beverly Ho of the Health Promotion Bureau said.
Together with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP), the agencies virtually launched the annual holiday campaign with the theme: Ligtas Christmas sa Healthy Pilipinas.
DOH said that this year, the campaign focuses on three main behaviors to keep Filipinos healthy amidst the pandemic. The public is reminded to first; continuously practice the minimum public health standards second; choose healthier options during feasts and similar activities, and third; prevent fireworks-related injuries by avoiding its use and being prepared for accidents.
It added that there has been a decreasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country and that the public is advised not to let its guards down and prioritize the health and safety of their families by practicing the minimum public health standards.
Aside from being safe, the DOH also underscored the importance of choosing healthier options during the festivities which can be done through food moderation, consumption of well-balanced and nutrient-rich foods,avoidance of harmful intake of alcohol, and cessation of cigarette smoking and vaping.
To continue the gains of the country in preventing Firework-related Injuries, DOH reminded the public to use safer alternatives to firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices by participating in community fireworks displays and by using other noise and light producing devices such as sound systems, light emitting devices, percussion instruments, pans, tambourines, and bells.
During the virtual launch, Supt. Warlito Daus of the DILG enjoined local government units (LGUs) across the country to implement the Oplan: Iwas Paputok campaign and to intensify the dissemination of information from their local government offices up to the community level.
Furthermore, Police Major General Jesus Cambay of the PNP informed the public of the prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices such as: piccolo, watusi, judas belt, whistle bomb, goodbye earth, super lolo, and atomic big triangulo.
In the same event, DTI, through Assistant Director Ferdinand Manfoste, also informs the public on regulation of fireworks and pyrotechnic devices and explains how to decipher legal from illegal devices. On the other hand, Supt. Analee Atienza of BFP reminds the public to aim for a fire-free holiday by knowing fire prevention and safety tips to prevent fire accidents and casualties.
Lastly, Thony Dizon of the EcoWaste Coalition, pushed for the advocacy of safe toys for kids. He mentions the importance of choosing and buying the right kind of toys to ensure children’s safety and health, citing the requirements of RA 10620, or the Toy and Game Safety Labeling Act.