TACLOBAN CITY, Jan. 1 (PNA) — The region’s largest government hospital had recorded only one firecracker-related injury admission during the height of New Year revelries this year.

Only one victim was sent to the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in this city — a 15-year-old boy who suffered minor burns for lighting a sparkler locally known as “binggala.” He was rushed to hospital around 2 a.m..

The Philippine National Police in Eastern Visayas said the celebration of New Year in the region is generally peaceful with only five reported victims of firecracker related-injuries after the celebration of New Year’s Eve.

They also received report of indiscriminate firing incident by a civilian from Mahaplag, Leyte. No single policemen or military men got involved in indiscriminate firing, according to police regional spokesperson Chief Insp. Maria Bella Rentuaya.

“Although there is an incident of indiscriminate firing in Leyte, it did not hit anyone,” Rentuaya said.

Aside from firecracker-related injuries, EVRMC also treated two victims of road accidents immediately after the New Year revelries. Two of the victims are from Tanauan town while one is from this city.

Celebration of New Year’s Eve in this city had changed this year with the noticeable decline in the use of firecrackers.

The city government here hosted a simple New Year’s Eve countdown and fireworks display at the city hall ground witnessed by some resident who welcomed the New Year at the city hall grounds.

City Administrator Irene Chu led the the fireworks display that lasted for six minutes and 30 seconds.

Around the city, locals welcome the New Year through gathering of families and friends through a street party, blowing of trumpets, car honks, loud music — basically anything that makes noise — and blast them as loud as they could as the clock strikes midnight.

In Palo town, the local government unit hosted the annual “lantaka” competition at the town plaza, participated by 10 contestants. Lantaka is a home-made bazooka made of either bamboo or recycled empty cans. (PNA) ROEL T. AMAZONA