ITY OF MALOLOS, Philippines—Bulacan government employees, some of them still reeling from the effects of floods that swamped the province in August, have shelved their annual Christmas party and have donated their money instead to the victims of Typhoon Pablo in Mindanao.
Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado announced the employees’ decision on Friday night after he lighted a 55-foot Christmas tree made of bamboo in front of the provincial capitol here.
Only a handful of employees and officials joined Alvarado at the ceremony. Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando, members of the provincial board and the provincial government’s department heads spent the evening discussing a separate fund drive for the Mindanao flood victims.
Alvarado said he has asked Bulacan’s 21 towns and three cities to help generate funds and donations.
“What the employees have decided to do instead of the party is to hold a Mass, and then congregate with food they all shall share among themselves. If funds have been used to buy Christmas raffle prizes, we will sell those prizes. If not, we will send the money to the victims,” he said.
He said celebrating while flood victims starved was no longer appropriate for the employees, many of whom have had to deal with floods and landslides during the monsoon season.
The province’s Christmas tree was not lavishly decorated, to express sympathy for the typhoon victims.