A PHILIPPINE based environmental group called on the Filipino people to stop buying firecrackers for the yuletide season and instead donate the money to the people of Marawi City to help them rise from the tragedy that struck their community.
In a statement, the EcoWaste Coalition, a public health and environment watchdog; said government offices, private companies, households and ordinary individuals can help Marawi City rise up out of the devastating armed conflict by not lighting firecrackers and fireworks this Yuletide season.
The coalition noted that aside from expressing solidarity by making donations to Marawi City residents in lieu of exploding fireworks, the nation will have an environment friendly, healthier, quieter, safer celebration of Christmas and New Year. It also stressed that the Maranaws and other people in the war devastated area are still grappling with the impacts of the war caused by the Maute terror group.
“We appeal to our fellow Filipinos to think twice before buying firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices or staging costly firework displays at a time when tens of thousands of residents of the war-torn city are in need of our compassion and assistance,” pleaded Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator.
“We ask everyone, especially those with money to burn for firecrackers and pyrotechnics, not to be insensitive to the plight of the Marawi people, especially the children, the elderly and the internally displaced persons,” she said.
Lucero then suggested that “Instead of causing bodily injury and property damage, and instead of polluting the environment with chemical-laden smoke, soot and trash; caring individuals, households, local governments, and businesses should refrain from spending for firecrackers and pyrotechnics and share the money saved to responsible charities and agencies helping to rebuild shattered lives.”
Aside from not spending for firecrackers and pyrotechnics, the EcoWaste Coalition also asked government and private entities not to spend for “Merry Christmas” tarpaulins and excessive decorations and to avoid ostentatious parties and celebrations, and to instead channel the resources saved for the rehabilitation of Marawi.
At the same time, the group urged the public to heed the calls for help from ABS CBN Foundation, Alagang Kapatid Foundation, Caritas Manila, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action, GMA Kapuso Foundation, Philippine Red Cross, Save the Children, World Vision and other charitable institutions.
It also invited the public to support the government-created Task Force Bangon Marawi, which is the inter-agency body in charge of the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of the war-ravaged city.