28 November 2017

Group Proposes: Donate Money for Firecrackers and Fireworks for Marawi Rehabilitation

A street vendor sells firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices in Divisoria, Manila.

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 EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watchdog, proposes a quieter, safer and austere celebration of Christmas and the New Year sans firecrackers and pyrotechnics in solidarity with the Maranao people who are still grappling with the impacts of the war against the Maute terror group on their lives.

“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,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“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.

“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,” she suggested.

Aside from not spending for firecrackers and pyrotechnics, the EcoWaste Coalition also requested concerned offices not to spend for “Merry Christmas” tarpaulins and excessive decorations, avoid ostentatious parties and celebrations, and to channel the resources saved for the rehabilitation of Marawi.

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.

One of the functions of the said Task Force is to “attend to the health, sanitation, food, and other basic needs of the affected residents,” the EcoWaste Coalition pointed out.

The Task Force’s Sub-Committee on Health and Social Welfare, co-led by the Department of Health and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, is “responsible for taking measures to provide sanitation and health facilities, medical supplies, food, potable water, and other basic necessities.”

-end-

Reference:

http://www.officialgazette.gov .ph/downloads/2017/06jun/20170 628-AO-3-RRD.pdf

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