A waste and pollution watchdog has expressed delight over the “litterless” fun run held this morning in celebration of the 150th birthday of Dr. Jose Rizal.
The EcoWaste Coalition, a public interest network campaigning for a “litter-free Pilipinas,” commended the organizers and participants for demonstrating admirable environmental discipline and responsibility in such a historic event.
Organized by the Department of Education (DepEd), the “Takbo ni Pepe@150” drew thousands upon thousands of young people who came to honor the national hero and also to support the government’s resource mobilization drive for public schools.
“We congratulate DepEd and all the participating schools and students for keeping the event litterless as they walked and ran in memory of Rizal and in support of the public school system,” stated Manny Calonzo, EcoWaste Coalition’s Basura Patroller who monitored the event.
“Compared to other mass events held in Rizal Park, the fun run did not blight the area with too much garbage,” he observed.
“For sure there were some litterbugs among the participants, representing a tiny fraction of the runners and leaving only patches of littered candy and snack wrappers,” he noted.
“Although not totally litter-free, we’re pleased to see that the participants did not leave a big mess along the route, particularly in Rizal Park” he further said.
Littering is a serious environmental offense that is not only making a place looks bad, noted the EcoWaste Coalition.
Littering also causes a host of negative effects to public hygiene and sanitation, drainage management and flood control and wildlife protection, while consuming hordes of public funds for cleanup, the group emphasized.
Section 48 of Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, prohibits the dumping of waste matters in public places such as roads, sidewalks, canals, esteros, parks and establishments.
Violators upon conviction can be fined P300 to P1,000 or render 1 to 15-day community service, or both, according to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9003.
Under the Metro Manila Development Authority’s “Metro Ko, Love Ko” program launched in February 2011, 48,740 litterbugs have been apprehended by the agency’s environmental police as of June 16 as reported in the MMDA’s website.
R.A. 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000:
MMDA Data on total number of anti-littering law apprehensions: