Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that close police monitoring and patrolling of key areas nationwide has led to a 81% decrease in stray bullet incidents and 43% decrease in illegal discharge of firearms incidents this holiday season compared to the same period last year.
“Habang lahat tayo ay nagdiriwang kasama ang ating mga pamilya, masusing nagbantay at nagpatrolya sa mga lansangan ang PNP para maging ligtas at payapa ang ating kapaskuhan. Kaya binabati ko at pinasasalamatan ang PNP dahil nagbunga ang inyong pagsisikap!,” said Año.
Based on official reports from the PNP, there were only three incidents of stray bullets and zero injuries from December 16, 2019 to January 1, 2020 as compared to 16 incidents that 12 injured persons during the same period last year.
Twenty-one (21) persons were also arrested for illegal discharge of firearms resulting to 7 injuries during the recent holiday season as compared to 36 arrests resulting to 14 injured persons and one fatality for the same period in the previous year.
Of the 21 arrested for illegal discharge of firearms, three arrests each were made by PNP Regional Office (PRO) 10 and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO). There were also two arrests each in PRO 4A, PRO 5, PRO 11, and PRO Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR). The remaining seven regions recorded one arrest each for illegal discharge of firearms.
According to the PNP, incidents are categorized under stray bullet incidents when the suspects are unknown and the bullets hit rooftops or come from an unknown source or direction, while illegal discharge of firearms incidents are when the suspects who committed such malfeasance have been identified and arrested.
Kudos to BFP, BJMP, LGUs
Año also commended the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) for its strict inspection of firecracker manufacturers, and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) for keeping a close watch on the country’s city, district and municipal jails which resulted to zero escapes during the holiday season.
The DILG Secretary also praised the vigilant efforts of some local government units (LGUs) in working closely with the PNP and BFP in conducting an information drive on illegal firecrackers.
“Keep up the good work! We urge you to continue to be instruments of good local governance and public safety as we sustain the gains on the campaign vs. illegal firecrackers towards a more progressive year ahead,” he added.
The DILG previously issued Memorandum Circular 2018-216, 2017-168, and 2017-105 which provide for the regulation and control in the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices and define the responsibilities of local government agencies.
Año enjoined all LGUs to follow the example of discipline in Davao City and Marikina City which has successfully prohibited the use of illegal firecrackers for many years now.
“Gayahin natin ang disiplina ng mga taga-Davao City kung saan sa halip na paputok ay torotot, kaldero, kawali, at videoke ang kanilang pang-ingay sa Pasko at Bagong Taon sa loob ng 19 taon,” he said.
“Gayahin din natin ang Marikina City na sa halip na sa mga bahay magpaputok ay nagtipon tipon sa libreng pa-concert bilang ‘regalo’ sa kanilang mga mamamayan na may kasama pang fireworks display simula pa noong 1990s,” he added.