By Chito Chavez
An environmental group has called on local government units (LGU), private corporations, households, and ordinary individuals to shun buying fireworks to celebrate the New Year and instead use the money to aid disaster victims and finance other worthwhile cause.
Quezon City based EcoWaste Coalition said it will be more admirable to make donations in cash or in kind citing the recent devastating storm surge and flooding in Luzon and the Visayas and the quakes in Mindanao that left thousands in agony.
The group noted the “money saved from not buying and bursting firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices can be channeled to government institutions, private foundations, and church, media and civic groups who are working on the ground to assist the disaster victims’’.
“We appeal to all LGUs, companies and our fellow Filipinos to donate funds earmarked for firecrackers and fireworks to ongoing relief and reconstruction efforts in disaster-stricken communities,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
“The money saved from not detonating dangerous and polluting firecrackers and fireworks can be used to buy Noche Buena or Media Noche food packs, housing materials and farm implements for households affected by the recent flooding, storm surge and earthquake incidents that hit various parts of the country,” he added.
Dizon stressed the “compassionate gesture’’ offers a glimmer of hope for the families whose lives were tormented by these tragic disasters.
In addition, Dizon emphasized the reduced use of firecrackers and fireworks will translate to a cleaner, healthier and safer celebration of the holidays, especially on New Year’s Eve.
The EcoWaste Coalition also encouraged public officials not to spend taxpayers’ money for “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” tarpaulins.
“These promotional materials, which often contain cadmium, lead and other toxic chemicals, are totally unnecessary and only add to street clutter and plastic waste,” the group said.
The group further requested the public to keep holiday parties simple and to put aside the funds saved for lavish and wasteful parties to help the poor and the needy among us.