Environmental concerns cancel flying lanterns event

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LEGAZPI CITY, Albay: Organizers of the Legazpi City Flying Lantern Show canceled on Wednesday night the release of lighted sky lanterns in reaction to strong opposition from environmentalists and non-issuance of permit to hold the show by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

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Coordinators of Wave Your Wish Ceremony explained that the sky lanterns are made from biodegradable materials and can be lighted safely.

The event, which is on its second year, was supposed to be held at picturesque Legazpi City Boulevard as part of the Ibalong Festival activities here.

The organizers refunded tickets sold for P150 each.

The Wave Your Wish Ceremony aims to promote self-enlightenment and hope.

Participants in flying lantern show are given a special piece of paper to write their wishes on.

Rodne Galicha, country manager of Climate Reality Project Philippines, has launched an online campaign opposing the flying lantern event, calling it an act of dumping waste and not good for the environment.

“We need to give hope to future generations, a clean and sustainable future. This activity may be in violation of Republic Act 9003, Mismanagement and Improper Segregation of Waste and Fisheries Code and Wildlife Act,” he said.

Balloon releasing, according to him, may fall under the provision on aquatic pollution of the amended fisheries law.

He said the organizers may face administrative liability punishable by a fine of P300 to P500,000 apart from imprisonment.

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