A top official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 4A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal Quezon) has appealed to local government units (LGUs) and the public to refrain from releasing balloons during occasions such as funerals.
“Sa rehiyon ng Calabarzon, nais naming hikayatin ang mga pamahalaang lokal na ituring na littering ang pagpapakawala ng lobo dahil doon na rin naman ito patutungo (In the Calabarzon region, we are appealing to local governments to consider the release of balloons into the air as littering as it would end up as litter anyway),” DENR-4A Executive Director, lawyer Maria Paz Luna, said.
“In the Calabarzon region, we are appealing to local governments to consider the release of balloons into the air as littering as it would end up as litter anyway.”
Luna said they have already ordered funeral homes and other party and event organizers to stop releasing balloons in the air.
“We already ordered funeral homes and other party or event organizers to stop releasing balloons in the air.”
“Maaari po kaming mag-file ng kaso ng paglabag sa RA 9003 (We could file a case for violation of Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000),” she said.
The release of balloons has become a practice for many Filipino families during funerals believing that these contain their messages of love for the departed.
Luna, however, disagrees.
“Hindi kaya’t ang ibig sabihin noon ay sa purgatoryo ninyo ipinadala ang mensahe? Siguraduhin pong aabot ang mensahe sa mahal sa buhay at hindi sa purgatoryo. (But could this mean that the messages had been sent instead to purgatory? So, make sure the message would really reach your loved ones and not end up in purgatory),” she said.
The DENR Calabarzon’s appeal came in the wake of the supposed Cove Manila balloon drop at the Okada Hotel Manila. That event which would have seen the dropping of some 130,000 balloons to usher in the New Year, drew flak from netizens.
The event was scrapped after the DENR ordered Okada to cancel it.
In observance of the National Zero Waste Month this January, the DENR has been promoting environment awareness and action among the public and institutionalizing public participation in the development of national and local integrated, comprehensive and ecological waste management programs.
Luna also advised the public to send their complaints on littering – from the releasing of balloons to illegal garbage disposal in the Calabarzon area through text +639456215007 or +639083340224; or email to email@example.com or by posting photos/messages of such violations through https://www.facebook.com/DENR4AOfficial/#ZeroWaste or hashtags #DENRCalabarzon and #TayoAngKalikasan.