According to the Philippine National Police (PNP) accidents caused by firecrackers and stray bullets went down by 43 percent in 2016. This contributed to a “generally peaceful” New Year celebration.

A total of 224 cases of firecrackers and stray bullet accidents were recorded by the PNP from December 16 to January 2. This was 43 percent lower than the 2015 record of 521 incidents.

The decline can also be attributed to the so-called “Duterte effect” says PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Deputy Director General Ramon Apolinario.

Apolinario spoke of the people arrested for indiscriminate firing. Of the 23 cases, 19 were arrested. Among these arrests, there were 14 civilians, three security guards, a soldier and a policeman.

18 people were also arrested by the PNP for illegal selling of firecrackers. It was also noted that P879,000 worth of firecrackers were confiscated.

The success of the PNP’s peaceful celebration of the holidays and the Department of Health’s (DOH) “Iwas Paputok campaign” received congratulations from Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

However, while Andanar admits that President Rodrigo Duterte is an advocate of the firecracker ban the president weighs/considers the welfare of the industries and laborers also that would be affected by this move.

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