Taming a Firecracker Craze Nation

in Physician/Politics by

Filipinos should get rid of another culture we imbibed from colonizers – the love for the new year, firecracker bang. It is said that new years eve revelries isn’t “happy new year” without a loud, ka-boom in our backyard.

The firecracker lighting habit, will supposedly ward off  bad “spirits” and bad luck in the coming year.  An entirely huge  business market (legit or otherwise) emerged from this  habit. This , together with our superstition,  fuel a culture of indifference that is dangerously playing with life threatening injuries.

Legit firecrackers makers says it’s a problem with implementation of regulations, the illegal ones say they’re just “earning a living”. Department of Health noted there is a yearly reduction of firecracker injuries (17% this year) and proposes a selective ban of firecrackers. The national overnment on the other hand  let the local government impose its own “rules” on their constituents. What does the ordinary Juan dela Cruz say? 

No (credible) survey has been made on this yet. If ever there will be, will you be for a total ban on firecrackers or selective ban? Please comment below for your answers.

As a physician, I had my stand on this since 2009- a total ban, and I’ve said my reasons years ago in the same post. In a country where imposition of ‘selective” laws is wanting (selective logging ban, remember?), another selective law is a joke. (Ironically, some of our esteemed authorities was caught on camera squabbling to get their hands on firecrackers confiscated after their photo-ops!).

Loss of fingers and hand functions from a firecracker (Photo by Phillip Ko)
Loss of fingers and hand functions from a firecracker (Photo by Phillip Ko)

From a physician and surgeon who deals with firecracker injuries every new year, even a single firecracker injury is unacceptable. It is one totally avoidable surgical condition and expense. Be realistic? Look at Davao City, who had a total firecracker ban for many years already and have zero firecracker injury case for 4 straight years. How much did the local government saved on the medical expense of treating firecracker injuries? of fires brought about by firecrackers? Of cleaning up trash? Treating bronchitis from smog of firecrackers?

Firecracker reduction and statistics are for bureaucrats who deal with laws.  I deal with extremities, with functions and quality of life. That is obviously a minus for those who were victims of firecrackers! Thus I repeat, a single firecracker injury is unacceptable. Total ban on firecrackers should be imposed.


Dr. Remo-tito Aguilar co-founded #HealthXPh. A board certified orthopedic surgeon, he is Chief of Clinics at General Santos Medical Center and Medical Specialist II Orthopedics at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City. Dr. Aguilar is a healthcare social media evangelist and writes his medical musings at The Cast & Curious (www.remomd.com).