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Fewer firecracker-related injuries were recorded in Cebu and the rest of Central Visayas during the Christmas celebration, the Department of Health in the region reported.

There were 12 cases of firecracker injuries reported by the hospitals in Metro Cebu, which include those in the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue, said DoH 7 regional director Susana Madarieta on Saturday.

Last 2009, 18 persons were injured by firecracker and pyrotechnic blasts during the Christmas celebration alone.

Madarieta said there were also no reported cases of stray bullet incidents for the Christmas Eve revelries in the Central Visayas provinces of Cebu, Negros Oriental, Bohol, and Siquijor. Madarieta said she hoped the trend would continue up to the New Year celebration.

She attributed the decreasing trend to three factors. First, the strict regulation of the different local government units in selling firecrackers. In Cebu City, for example, the sale of firecrackers is only allowed along the strip facing the sea inside the South Road Properties (SRP), a reclamation property owned by the city government.

The other factor could be the DoH’s Oplan Iwas Paputok which was largely attributed for the people’s high awareness regarding the negative effects of using firecrackers. Third, she said, the people might have opted to spend their money for food and other important things.