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Have some respect for the dead!

Have some respect for the dead! !-- -- Undas is the day when we are supposed to honor and give respect to the dead. But since it's more fun in the Philippines, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day in most memorial parks have become a big party place.

If the dead can only speak, they would probably be complaining about the filth, the noise and the mess their relatives have done to their sacred grounds. Let's talk about respect.

Shouldn't we be conscious of the noise we create in memorial parks? People who visit the dead are there to pray in silence. But when loudspeakers are all over the place with LGUs constantly instructing the herd to follow the line as they enter the cemeteries, then we have a problem.

As you start walking to your destination, you hear all sorts of loud music and even some people singing using the infamous karaoke. And while we're at it, jingles of ice cream and hamburger joints continuously distract us while in prayer.

Even if you want to just shrug the nuisance off or even try to go with the flow, it just isn't right. It is annoying! At the park, a fiesta mood is created with families gathered in tents or seated in mats with a buffet of food and drinks, eating and drinking to their hearts content.

Sure it's tradition but I think it has gotten out of hand. People aren't praying anymore.

Instead they are playing to the point of becoming so rowdy and unmindful of those praying and paying their respects for the dead. What happened to silence to honor the dead? What happened to praying? This occasion has become so many things other than what it is really meant for.

Many are just chatting away until the sun sets and it is time to go home. What's worse is that they leave an avalanche of trash all over the place, oblivious of what has become of the park.

In the past, I would rave about this tradition but now, it seems very shameful. We have forgotten to respect the dead and their environment.

Our values seem to have gone astray. What is happening to us? We look for opportunities to be with family but we forget the Filipino values which exemplifies what we are as a people.

Potted flowers and candles for the dead are even stolen. Not to mention hearing the president ridiculing the saints.

Such behaviors are very third world. I don't understand why the memorial parks and their officials (whether public or private) allow these to happen.

They must be able to enforce their rules so people are constantly conditioned to follow them. Each one of us should be responsible for our own trash.

We must take home our trash, leaving nothing behind. Despite the calls of Edison Nebrija, commander of the Task Force Special Operations of the MMDA for the public to refrain from littering and DENR Secretary Cimatu's reminder to the LGUs to enforce the country's solid waste management law in all memorial parks and public cemeteries during the commemoration of UNDAS 2018, 61 truckloads of garbage were collected from the Manila North and South cemeteries alone from October 30 to November 2, All Souls' Day.

So, how can we be part of saving the environment when we ourselves are the very first violators of the Solid Management law. It must be recalled that in 2017, according to Aldrin B.

Plaza (Asian Development Bank urban development officer for the sustainable development and climate change), the Philippines generate about 35,000 tons of municipal solid waste, with more than 8,600 tons per day in Metro Manila alone. He also noted that the problem extends beyond the capital.

As one writer put it, "we are a first world country but a third world people." Of course, putting ourselves at the top is debatable but I agree that our ways are very third world.

What connotes a third world country? The Borgen Project, an innovative, national campaign that works with US leaders to improve their response to the global poverty crisis defines third world countries today as countries that are in financial trouble and need help from other countries to keep their economy sustainable, at least for a short time. Victoria Fowler wrote an article in The Borgen Project website citing 10 facts about the third world countries or developing nations.

These are: 1) The term "third world countries" was first used during the Cold War to specify the countries that did not side with NATO/capitalism or at the time the Soviet Union/communism. The new generic meaning for third world countries are poor and underdeveloped nations and can also refer to poor education, infrastructure, improper sanitation and/or poor access to healthcare.

2) Third world countries can be measured up in five different sections ndash political rights and civil liberties, gross national income, human development, poverty and press freedom. 3) With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, interpretation of "third world countries" has become more open.

How can an affluent country like Saudi Arabia be part of the third world? Phrases such as "developing world," "developing countries" or "majority world" replaced "third world country. But still there is no global consensus on which term to use.

4) According to the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, of the 166 developing countries, 52 are African countries. 5) Water pollution is a growing concern in developing countries.

On January 10, 2018, the head of the United Nations Environment and the Director General of the World Health Organization signed an agreement to improve joint actions to tackle pollution concerns around the world. It also seeks to improve coordination of waste and chemicals management, water quality, and food and nutrition issues.

6) There are three criteria to take into account when determining whether a country is "developing or not: low-income, human resources and economic vulnerability. 7) Health and nutrition resources are minimal.

Eighty percent of the world lives on $10 or less a day. Nearly two-thirds of the global workforce is listed under an informal' economy.

It means these employees don't have proper social protection, rights at work and adequate working conditions. The UN reports that 93 percent of the world's informal employment is in emerging and developing countries.

It concluded that those living in rural areas are twice as likely to be informally employed than those in urban areas. 8) There exists a higher percentage of violence against women.

It is reported that 36.6 percent of women in the Africa region and 37.7 percent of women in the South/East Asia region are most likely to undergo physical or sexual violence. 9) Three hundred eighty-seven million children worldwide live in poverty.

Of all the children in the world, 19.5 percent live in extreme poverty. Although the child mortality rate has dropped in 2016 with only 41 deaths per every 1,000 live births, UNICEF reports that about 15,000 children under five still die every day.

10) Seventy-nine percent of people in third world countries live without electricity. Those who live without electricity are producing indoor air pollution through burning fires.

This causes up to 3.5 million deaths per year.

What's the point? All of the above points to us. If we don't change as a people and as a government, we will be stuck as a third world or developing country forever.
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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Nov 4, 2018
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