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(Updated 4:38 p.m.) The number of holiday-related fireworks injuries has shot up to 44 as of Christmas Eve, the Department of Health said Tuesday.
National Epidemiology Center head Enrique Tayag noted the 44 incidents was one more than those recorded in the same period in 2011.
"Fireworks injuries climb(ed) to 44 as of Dec. 24, 2012 compared to 43 last year. Metro Manila leads all regions with 14 injuries," Tayag said on his Twitter account.
Tayag said the most recent cases included one of a 22-year-old male from Compostela Valley who lost his left thumb, index and middle fingers.
He said the man, who he did not name, had just picked up a Super Lolo.
Earlier firecracker-related injuries had included a boy who was injured in the eye after using a boga, a cannon made from PVC pipes.
The government has been trying to discourage Filipinos from using firecrackers to celebrate Christmas and welcome the New Year, by suggesting alternate activities such as dancing to the hit "Gangnam Style." Also, the Philippine National Police has called on barangay officials to designate firecracker zones in their respective areas to lessen firecracker-related injuries during the New Year revelry. 32 arrested in Davao City
In Davao City, at least 32 people were arrested on Christmas Eve for violating the firecracker ban there.
Davao City police head Superintendent Ronald dela Rosa said most of those arrested were minors, radio dzBB reported Tuesday afternoon.
Of the 32, six were adults who are now detained and are to undergo inquest proceedings on Wednesday, the report said.
The 26 minors were brought to the city's social welfare office and given a "scolding" before they were to be turned over to their parents.
Davao City has strictly enforced a ban on the sale and use of fireworks and has been considered a model of the no-fireworks policy. — RSJ, GMA News