At least 26 people were arrested for firing their guns during the New Year revelries, National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa said Tuesday.
Among those arrested, 20 are civilians, 4 others were policemen, while 2 more were members of the Armed Forces, Dela Rosa said in a press conference.
In 2016, the Philippine National Police Directorate for Operations noted a "300 percent increase in the illegal discharge of firearms". At least 4 incidents of indiscriminate firing during New Year festivities were reported last year.
"I have encouraged, motivated my regional directors to go all out. Umikot sila ng umikot sa mga palengke at matataong lugar, at nag-announce na, 'Kung gusto niyo mag New Year sa police station, paputok kayo ng firecracker sa hindi designated zone o magpaputok kayo ng baril,'" Dela Rosa said.
"May konting pananakot sa tao na talagang huhulihin sila kapag magviolate sila," he added.
Dela Rosa said public vigilance, the 100 percent deployment of the police force and the "one-strike policy" imposed against erring uniformed personnel helped in curbing incidents of indiscriminate firing.
"Wala akong ire-relieve na police commander at any level (this year) due to negligence 'nung Christmas at New Year deployment kasi wala naman talaga unlike previous years na may mamamatay o masusugatan," he said.
Dela Rosa said 74 were arrested for illegal possession of firecrackers. The confiscated firecrackers were worth P390,229, he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte's Executive Order 28 that limited the use of firecrackers helped pull down the number of firecracker-related injuries and incidents, Dela Rosa said.