“Money is not for burning, send it south to help Sendong survivors”

On the eve of Christmas Day, an environmental health group urged Filipinos from all walks of life to celebrate the holidays without firecrackers and fireworks and to channel the money saved to support disaster relief and rehabilitation work in the Visayas and Mindanao.

The EcoWaste Coalition reiterated its call for “Iwas PapuToxic” as President Benigno S. Aquino III enjoined the people to let the thousands of grieving families affected by tropical storm Sendong “feel they are not alone.

“Let us provide the torch of concern and love and show that they belong to a bigger family,” the President said in his Christmas message to the nation.

Concerned government agencies, companies and individuals can contribute to the Sendong relief and rehabilitation funds by choosing not to blow up firecrackers and fireworks, the EcoWaste Coalition said.

“Money is not for burning. The ten pesos saved from buying a box of the banned Piccolo to the more costly firework shows put up by local government units and businesses can be sent to the south to help Sendong survivors,” said Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste Coalition’s Iwas PapuToxic Campaigner.

“Donations no matter how small can improve the living conditions of the disaster survivors and lighten up their heavy loads,” she said.

“It would be insensitive for us, the non-victims, to brighten up the skies with toxic-laced fireworks, while many have no roof over their heads and very little to feast on during the most festive time of the year,” she added.

“The disaster survivors as well the good-hearted donors from here and abroad will surely appreciate such a gesture of sensitivity and compassion,” she also said.

In a recent statement, Lucero, along with Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez, Jr. and former Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., jointly suggested the cancellation of pyrotechnic displays in deference to Sendong victims and survivors.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona followed suit saying that “the money that we have allotted for fireworks can be donated to the ongoing relief and rehabilitation efforts for the victims of … Sendong.”

“This will ensure that that we usher in the New Year free from harm and with a deep sense of fulfillment,” Ona said.