Cops: Ambulances not enough for Metro Manila's 747 firecracker zones

12/30/2010 - Metro Manila police chief Director Nicanor Bartolome reminded the public to be cautious in using firecrackers as there are not enough ambulances for some 747 firecracker zones in Metro Manila for the New Year's Day revelry.

“Baka di mapunuan yan kasi 747 ang firecracker zones sa Metro Manila pa lang. Ang malaking area mas mataas ang risk. Pati ambulance, yan ang sabi natin, dapat may nakaantabay kahit di one ambulance per zone, but at least accessible at makakarating kung may kailangan," Bartolome said in an interview on dzRH radio on Thursday.

(There may not be enough ambulances for each of the 747 firecracker zones in Metro Manila. If this is so, residents in the bigger zones will be at greater risk. We are exploring ways to make sure that even if we cannot have one ambulance per zone, the ambulances serving more than one zone will at least be accessible and can respond quickly.)

Bartolome also reiterated his appeal to the public to contact the Philippine National Police to report abuses or incidents related to the New Year revelry.

He said concerned citizens can contact the PNP through PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo’s hotline at 0917 847-5757.

“Habang ang pulis at ibang ahensya ng pamahalaan naghahanda at nagbibigay ng seguridad sa Metro Manila, ang ating hinihingi sa ating kababayan kaunting vigilance. Pag may napansin... maaring i-report sa ating pulis," he said.

(While the police and other government agencies secure Metro Manila, we appeal to the public for vigilance. If you notice something suspicious, report it to our policemen.)

Firecracker zones

Bartolome said the police had coordinated with local government units in Metro Manila to establish some 747 firecracker zones.

Bartolome said out of the 747 firecracker zones, 271 are in Manila alone.

The zones, the areas where the lighting of firecrackers is allowed, were set up to discourage residents from lighting firecrackers inside or near their homes.

“Dapat maluwag ang area, well-ventilated, malayo sa kabahayan at accessible. May fire trucks near the firecracker zones," he said.

(The areas should be open, well-ventilated, and far from residential areas but accessible. Fire trucks should be placed near the firecracker zones.)

Illegal firecrackers destroyed

Bartolome said he has ordered the destruction of illegal fireworks seized from vendors in past days.

He said the illegal fireworks will be destroyed on Thursday afternoon so that they could no longer pose a threat to the public and the police facilities where the seized fireworks are kept.

“Sisirain natin mamaya after lunch ang nakumpiska na, para di magamit o mag-pose ng danger sa opisina dahil doon for now nakatambak ang nakumpiska nila," he said.

(We plan to destroy the fireworks after lunch, so they will not pose a danger to the police facilities where they are being kept.) (GMA News)

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