Philippines: Hospitals Ready for New Year casualties.

When I first arrived as a visitor in Legazpi in October a few years ago,the first night I thought that we must live in a dangerous neighbourhood since I heard what I thought were gunshots in the evening. I was soon set straight that it was simply noisy firecrackers. The climax came on New Years when the noise lasted all night along with rockets and flares that seemed to go up from everywhere. It seems that there are few rules about fireworks in the Philippines and there are always accidents.

DOH readies hospitals
WITH Christmas over, the Department of Health is gearing for the New Year revelry by ensuring that hospitals have enough supply of medicines and equipment for victims of firecracker-related injuries.
"We have to make sure government hospitals, doctors, medical technicians and x-ray radiologists are ready," said Health Secretary Francisco Duque.
"We would want to know if there are hospitals needing added support in terms of medicines and equipment," he said.
He said in 2007, there were over 750 injury cases recorded by DOH sentinel hospitals.
Duque appealed to the public to use noise-makers instead of firecrackers and fireworks.
The National Capital Region Police Office said police will continue tandem patrols with the military until the New Year to ensure a crime-free celebration of the holiday season.
NCRPO chief Leopoldo Bataoil said the AFP-National Capital Region Command under Maj. Gen. Arsenio Arugay has deployed two companies to bolster police presence in the metropolis, with emphasis on security of vital installations, bus terminals, airports, seaport, shopping malls and other public places.
Traffic will be rerouted in the Makati Central Business District starting 10 p.m. today for the city’s New Year countdown.
Both lanes of Ayala avenue, from EDSA to Herrera street, will be closed to traffic.
The Department of Public Service advised motorists to take the following alternate routes:
For passenger buses coming from South Luzon Expressway and LRT, take Gil Puyat Avenue, left at EDSA to destination. Buses coming from EDSA/Ayala Avenue turn right to Gil Puyat Avenue to destination.
For passenger jeepneys and light vehicles coming from Washington Street, turn right to Gil Puyat, right to Ayala Avenue, right to Salcedo Street, left to Benavidez toward Esperanza, right turn to Makati avenue, right to Arnaiz avenue, right turn to Paseo de Roxas, left turn to Dela Rosa, right to Salcedo, left to Ayala avenue to destination.
For jeepneys and light vehicles coming from J.P. Rizal, turn right to Makati avenue, right turn to Paseo de Roxas, right turn to Ayala avenue to destination.
Both lanes of Makati avenue, from Paseo de Roxas to North Drive, will also be closed to traffic to make way for ground preparations.
The event features top rock acts with a laser lights extravaganza and a 10-minute fireworks display.
The event is presented by Mayor Jejomar Binay and the city government of Makati, the Makati Festivals Foundation, Ayala Land, Makati Commercial Estate Association, and ABS-CBN Foundation Sagip-Kapamilya.
This year, the event will also highlight the joint fund-raising drive of the Makati city government and the Sagip Kapamilya program. Cash donations will be collected at Sagip Kapamilya booths during the event.
Parking areas have been designated along the stretch of De la Rosa street and Paseo de Roxas. – Gerard Naval and Raymond Africa


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