|27 December 2015|
|Palace talks Filipinos out of using firecrackers in welcoming the New Year|
|From playing loud music to staging street parties, Malacañang has offered the public alternative noisemakers so they can celebrate the New Year safe and sound, instead of using the traditional fun yet dangerous firecrackers.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. issued the statement four days before the calendar changed in support of the Department of Health’s (DOH) annual campaign against pyrotechnic materials.
“Ilang araw bago natin ipagdiwang ang pagsapit ng Bagong Taon, patuloy ang panawagan ng pamahalaan sa lahat ng ating mga mamamayan na makiisa sa pag-iwas sa paggamit ng makapaminsalang paputok at salubungin ang taong 2016 nang ligtas at malayo sa ano mang kapahamakan,” Coloma said over the state-run Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday.
The DOH has released the slogan “Tetano ay Nakamamatay, Huwag Pasaway; Sa Paputok May Goodbye” to discourage the public from using firecrackers and other explosive devices as these often cause serious injuries that even lead to death.
“Muli nating pinaaalalahanan ang mga kababayan, lalo’t higit ang mga magulang na bantayan ang kanilang mga anak sa paggamit ng mga paputok, at himukin silang gumamit ng mga alternatibo at ligtas na pamamaraan ng pag-iingay tulad ng torotot, musika, kaldero at maging ang pagdaraos ng kasiyahan sa kalye o ‘street parties’ bilang pagsalubong sa bagong taon,” Coloma said.
Coloma said the DOH continues to work with the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Philippine National Police to prevent the sale of illegal firecrackers.
Public hospitals and other facilities nationwide would also remain on ‘Code White,’ the highest alert level of DOH, which it has imposed since December 21 to attend to those people who might need immediate medical attention during the holiday period. PND (hdc)
|Palace belies claim of expanded forces of the New People’s Army in Eastern Mindanao|
|Malacañang contradicted the reported statement of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) that they have extended their forces in Eastern Mindanao.
Citing latest data gathered by the Cabinet security cluster from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said on Sunday that the rebels’ numbers have in fact dwindled over the last three months.
In an interview over the state-run Radyo ng Bayan, Coloma said the CPP-NPA personnel dropped by 17 percent from 2,035 to 1,691 and the affected villages went down by 25 percent from 547 to 414.
Government forces also managed to reduce the rebels’ arsenal by about six percent from 2,383 to 2,232, Coloma added, and their guerilla front was cut from 29 to 24 or 17 percent.
“Hayag na ang paghina ng kanilang puwersa sa lahat ng aspeto at ang kanilang panlilinlang ay kasabay ng kanilang pagsasagawa ng extortion na tinagurian nilang ‘revolutionary taxation’ dahil sa parating na halalan,” Coloma said.
“Patuloy ding pinaiigting at ibayo pang pinaghuhusay ng pamahalaan ang paghatid ng mahalagang serbisyo at programang pangkaunlaran para sa kapakanan ng mga mamamayan habang tinitiyak ang kanilang seguridad at kaligtasan,” he added. PND (hdc)
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