Does donating fireworks money to Sendong victims make sense?

It makes perfect sense. Why spend money on stuff that will simply go up in smoke on New Year’s Eve when you can instead donate those funds to the relief effort in Mindanao which had recently been devastated by Typhoon Sendong. This is the appeal of Secretary of Health Enrique T. Ona in a press release today.

“Perhaps the money that we have allotted for fireworks can be donated to the ongoing relief and rehabilitation efforts for the victims of … Sendong,” he said. “This will ensure that that we usher in the New Year free from harm and with a deep sense of fulfillment.”

Perhaps then, the evidence of how much Filipinos really care will have a clear measure come New Year’s Eve. How much fireworks will be sold over the coming days and how much will go off on that night will tell us.

I get the feeling some folks in Bocaue will have mixed feelings about this idea.

But then why stop there?

We could also stop buying wooden stuff to “contribute” to making a dent on the logging industry that denuded much of Mindanao (and the rest of the Philippines) and rendered our highlands fatal conduits for deadly deluges. Better yet, even stop manufacturing wooden furniture for export. For that matter we should stop the export of timber products, period.

And how about holding off on buying stuff made of mined materials? Some of it may have come from the numerous mines scarring the Mindanao landscape.

Better yet, let’s altogether stop producing consumers. That way we take on the root cause of why forests get denuded and why areas along the coast made dangerous to dense human settlement as a result of that degradation of forest land get developed for settlement anyway. Where there is a strong demand for land to turn into human settlement, every available space will be taken.

So here is the lesson learned in this little thought experiment…

One way or another, someone will stand to lose something as a result of one good intention or another — whether it be boycotting wood products, avoiding stuff made of mined materials, or abstaining from this year’s orgy of pyrotechnics. It’s a simple lesson in how the economy to which we have become dependent on and which, in turn, is dependent on our continued consumption works at a fundamental level.

It cannot be stopped, and it cannot be slowed down. We feed on it and it feeds on us. And there are casualties in this mad pursuit for material comfort that we are unable to escape.

All roads we take in our foolish hunt for scapegoats lead to a place we are very familiar with — ourselves.

It makes perfect sense.

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5 Comments on “Does donating fireworks money to Sendong victims make sense?”

  1. Screw that. None of my money goes to charity after having seen how disaster funds set aside are squandered, plundered, or misused. I’m spending my own money on things that really matter to me and my immediate gene pool, and maybe to close friends. No way I’m giving anything to anybody after the government has already taken and shat out my taxes, and not especially while Joshua’s retarded uncle is in power.

    On second thought, I’d rather spend my extras on a couple of escort girls and a pizza. At least I have contributed to the circulation of money in the economy.

  2. Kapag walang fireworks.. parang hindi kumpleto ang New Year.. and besides, sabi nga ng mga Intsik, pang tanggal ng malas yan.. Malay natin.. Pasabugan nga ng maraming fireworks si Mr. President.. baka sakaling mawala ung malas sa katawan niya..

  3. “Better yet, let’s altogether stop producing consumers.”

    “Where there is a strong demand for land to turn into human settlement, every available space will be taken.”

    All this charity mumbo jumbo is good but it’s temporary. The long-term solution: it’s just the realization of those two quotes above.

  4. Funny that they have to put in a sense of guilt into those that do purchase and will use fireworks for New Year’s Eve.

    Granted, as consumers, we have our hand in what is happening to the planet, but with proper enforcement by the government, it need not be this BAD and at this scale.

    Willpower by the government to do what must be done is what’s lacking. They only wish to do what is popular and cover their as*es once something else hits the fan to cover up their inaction of it.

    We are not saying acting against corruption is wrong, but focusing only on corruption will be death of us and the country (keep in mind it seems selective as well by just focusing on the past while forgetting or turning a blind eye to present acts).

  5. Secretary Ona gets the Filipino psyche. We’re suckers for statements like that, and even I fell for it. Like Don, I feel indignant when I see my taxes being squandered on and not being used for its real purpose.

    When he said that, I’ve a feeling he’s hitting two birds with one stone with that appeal–lower down statistics of people injured during fireworks and brownie points with the masses for exuding and calling for compassion.

    Yes, we are compassionate people, but sometimes its out of a guilt trip, you know? I hope we get to GENUINELY GIVE…without people like him telling us what to do with our money.

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