DAVAO CITY – On the 40th day following the death of environment advocate, Francis Morales, his colleagues from the disaster response group Balsa Mindanao launched a fund raising for a memorial mobile which will be used during disaster response.
Professor Maria Lourdes Tiangco, the acting executive director of Balsa Mindanao said the mobile called Balsa Mindanao on Wheels or BMW could carry disaster-responsive equipment and fixtures.
“We envision a big truck that could carry emergency equipment such as shovel, fire extinguishers,” Tiangco said.
She said that Balsa Mindanao, with the help of their volunteers would tap and solicit funds from commercial institutions, as part of the group’s effort to “professionalize volunteerism.”
Morales’ colleagues in the disaster response and environment advocacy movement also held a forum on volunteerism during the 40th day death commemoration last Sunday.
Monico Cayog of Kalumaran, offered panubad-tubad (a kind of ritual or prayer for the Manobo tribe) during the opening of the 40th day commemoration.
Cayog said that he offered the ritual for the “hiyas (gems)” that Morales left.
He enumerated that among these treasures are the people, especially the youth, who will be continuing his advocacy on environment protection.
Cayog recalled that even if Morales received death threats, “he was passionate and committed in his service to the people.”
“We will continue to stand to pursue the struggle in the protection of the environment and to protect his hiyas,” he said.
A Novena Prayer at Morales’ ancestral House in Los Amigos, Tugbog District, followed the 40th day celebration.
Morales, died evening of November 12, due to acute lymphocytic leukemia. Aside from leading the local environmental advocacy, he was among the forerunners of Daluyong, a national network of disaster survivors composed mainly of survivors from Typhoon Yolanda-stricken and Typhoon Pablo-stricken areas. (davaotoday.com)