09 January 2014

EcoWaste Coalition Lauds "Green Brigade" Volunteers as Black Nazarene Devotees Leave Trash Behind Luneta

The EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watchdog, applauded the collective efforts of church, government and civic groups in cleaning up the heaps of garbage left by Black Nazarene devotees following the overnight vigil and early morning Mass at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta.

At the same time, the group lamented that many of the devotees chose to ignore the constant plea from the organizers to keep Luneta and the processional trail litter-free.

A signage put up by the Quiapo Church that says “Ang taong nagmamalasakit sa kalikasan ay tunay na kalugod-lugod sa Poong Jesus Nazareno.  Pakiusap: Ilagay po lamang ang inyong basura sa tamang lagayan.  Panatilihing  malinis ang ating kapaligiran,” obviously fell on deaf ears, the EcoWaste Coalition noted.

While utterly dismayed by the widespread trashing of the grounds of Rizal Park, the EcoWaste Coalition cited the “Green Brigade” volunteers who immediately picked up the trash left by devotees who attended the Eucharistic Celebration led by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle this morning.

Organized by the Quiapo Church, the “Green Brigade” is comprised of volunteers from the Nazarene Catholic School, Philippine College of Criminology, Sta. Isabel College, the Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod, the EcoWaste Coalition and other groups.

Also joining the cleanup were personnel from the Manila’s Department of Public Services, Metro Manila Development Authority, the  National Parks Development Committee and a group of devotees led by Barangay Chairman Leony de Belen of Barangay Liang, Malolos, Bulacan.

“We salute them for their voluntarism that we hope  would rub off on others,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Next time, devotees should be more environmentally caring, exert every effort to prevent and reduce trash and not depend on others to clean up their mess,” she added.

“We remain hopeful that future celebrations of the feast of the Black Nazarene will be devoid of garbage and other excesses,” she said.
The EcoWaste Coalition also lauded unorganized waste pickers who patiently retrieved recyclable discards such as PET bottles to be sold to junk shops.

The group through Tin Vergara, Zero Waste Campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition, commended the waste pickers “for their enterprising diligence, thereby preventing valuable resources from being wasted.”

Aside from plastic bottles, some of the most littered items found at  the Quirino Grandstand and the open field fronting it were cigarette butts, food leftovers, food wrappers, plastic and paper bags, polystyrene beverage cups, food containers, soiled carton boxes and newspapers, the group said.


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