“Magpasalamat, hindi magkalat.”
The waste and pollution watch group EcoWaste Coalition made this remark as it bewailed the widespread littering that again tainted the 22-hour mammoth procession in reverence for the Black Nazarene.
“We are deeply saddened by the sight of garbage in
the procession of the venerated image began following an all-night vigil, and
along the processional route,” said Daniel Alejandre, Zero Waste Campaigner,
EcoWaste Coalition. Rizal Park
“The lack of environmental concern has again stained the awe-inspiring expression of faith and trust in the Black Nazarene that devotees ask for help to solve personal or family issues, including health and financial troubles that could have been caused or worsened by a degraded and polluted environment,” he added.
“Our plea for a trash-less Traslacion remains an elusive dream,” he lamented. “We hope devotees will heed our appeal for waste prevention and reduction next year.”
At the open area fronting the Quirino Grandstand, the group’s Basura Patrollers saw heaps of garbage consisting of corrugated boxes, foils, newspapers and plastics used as sleeping mats; food and beverage packaging such as 3-in-1 coffee sachets, cup noodles, paper and plastic cups and polystyrene containers; food leftovers; plastic bags; and cigarette butts.
As reported by the group’s Basura Patrollers, the streets of Quiapo were teeming not only with people, but also with garbage, including discarded plastic bags and polystyrene food containers that are supposedly restricted under Manila City Ordinance 8282.
Meanwhile, the group thanked the waste pickers who patiently retrieved recyclable items left by the devotees such as PET bottles (except those with urine), corrugated boards and others that can be sold to junk shops. The retrieval of recyclables reduces the volume of waste and prevent valuable resources from being hauled to the dump.