ON NOVEMBER 7, 2019 Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio issued a public apology for her cursory approval of the proposed rehabilitation of the Clifford Park along Roxas avenue. The project aimed to accommodate more people and enhance its tourism and recreational values. At the course, the mid-aged trees were massacred that ensued flaks both in the city council and social media.
Hypercriticism pushed the mayor’s back against the wall to issue a public apology owning the inadvertent mistake of perfunctory nod to the project; and vowed “to establish green spaces, promote ecological balance, sustainable utilization and management of resources, and to continue public awareness of the importance of environmental protection.”
While the good mayor has this unfeigned avouchment, her genii and angels at the city hall are preparing for another tourists attraction, yet apocalyptic “Pasko Fiesta”.
What makes it apocalyptic and disturbing?
First, the month-long merriment will drain the government’s coffer by P22-million as confirmed by city tourism officer Generose Tecson.
Second, the Lamdag Parada and Kahayag sa Dabaw will literally upholster the city with classy lanterns, blinkers and thousands of bulbs. These waste matters will be dangled on the branches of the few remaining trees (survivors of the massacre) at the parks, street posts, and on the gigantic Christmas tree.
Therefore, the extravagant Pasko Fiesta will only leave a rambling waste of non-biodegradable plastics, wires and leads from the blinkers and lanterns.
On top of this squandering, as experts averred from the very beginning of the 19th century that the artificial lights we used to amuse the public eyes are composed of visible light and two invisible radiations: the ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR). The ultraviolet and the blue components of the light are harmful to human either it comes from the Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) or Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
Let us not forget that the rhythm of life since the week of creation is coordinated by the natural diurnal patterns of day and night or light and dark. The artificial light at night that emits invisible radiation disturbs the natural pattern that leaves negative impacts on trees, plants, animals, insects and human too, thus causes ecological imbalance.
Every time we consume electrical energy, we produce pollution. And the bigger the consumption, the higher it discharges pollution. Imagine a 50 watt bulb burning for 10 hours, multiplied into how many bulbs are lighted throughout the city for the whole month. How much light pollution the earth accumulates per lumen from the artificial lights every Christmas season?
We have been observing an Earth Hour once a year. We switched off all electrical and electronically produced lights to give an hour break for the earth from light pollutions. But it is not enough.
If we celebrate Christmas in this way to somehow venerate our Creator for sending a Savior to this doomed world, then perhaps a festival without destructing the natural creation is more pleasing to the Creator.
We wasted energy, resources, and money. We put our property at risk with substandard blinkers that is flourishing the market today. We risk by exposing our people to cancer and disturbed the nature. We spend millions for the lanterns on the streets and gigantic Christmas trees.
Why not spend these millions every year in planting trees “to establish green spaces, promote ecological balance, sustainable utilization and management of resources, and to continue public awareness of the importance of environmental protection” if only to accommodate more people and enhance tourism?
My Christmas wish therefore is addressed to the 19th council, to come up with landmark legislation so that by the next Christmas seasons, the city will no longer spend P22 million or more to devastate the environment and ecosystem, instead, preserve Davao as one of the most livable and greenest urban cities in the country.