28 March 2018

Groups Observe Lent with “Dasal at Aksyon, Alay kay Inang Kalikasan”

Environmental advocates on Holy Wednesday converged at the historic Plaza Miranda to call attention to the anguish and grief of Mother Earth as she is disrespected and impaired by chemicals and wastes unendingly being dumped on her. 

Led by the EcoWaste Coalition and its community partners, the event dubbed as “Dasal at Aksyon, Alay kay Inang Kalikasan” brought to light the degradation of the environment due to the low compliance with pollution prevention and reduction laws such as the Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

Among the groups that participated in the "Dasal at Aksyon"lenten event were the Aksyon sa Kahandaan sa Kalamidad at Klima, Buklod Tao, Global Catholic Climate Movement-Pilipinas, and the Samahan ng mga Mangangalalakal ng Scrap sa Capulong

With the façade of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene as backdrop, the participants carried on their shoulders a wooden carriage containing a globe depicting Mother Earth bearing a cross amid a sea of residual and hazardous wastes, including electronic, medical, plastic, and sachet wastes.  

Written on the cross are some of the top environmental issues facing our communities and their ecosystems such as open burning, waste-to-energy incineration, and toxic pollution of the air, soil and water from chemical and plastic pollutants.

Through prayers and songs, they expressed their hope that the stewardship of creation will prevail over the pervasive throw-away culture and pollution that dishonor and destroy Mother Earth.

During the event, the participants echoed the critical comment made by Pope Francis in his groundbreaking encyclical letter “Laudato Si” regarding the state of the global environment wherein he said “the earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

“The dumpsites and landfills, which are bursting at the seams, polluted creeks, littered streets and beaches, and plasticized oceans is the Calvary of today where Mother Earth finds herself being crucified day in and day out,” said Daniel Alejandre, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Mother Earth has to bear this heavy burden caused by society’s failure to embrace sustainable consumption and production patterns resulting in the unbridled exploitation of nature and the  generation of too much and too toxic wastes,” he added.

As noted by Pope Francis in “Laudato Si,” “each year hundreds of millions of tons of waste are generated, much of it non-biodegradable, highly toxic and radioactive, from homes and businesses, from construction and demolition sites, from clinical, electronic and industrial sources.”

To stop the daily crucifixion of Mother Earth, the EcoWaste Coalition urged all sectors to heed the call for conversion and action to save the environment and allow the current and future generations to meet their needs and enjoy a better quality of life.

Meanwhile, EcoWaste Coalition’s partners in Cebu are also set to stage today a “Pagbasa ng Pasyon para sa Kalbaryo ng Kahirapan” involving 100 activists.  Organized by the Cebu chapters of the Bukluran ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino, Freedom from Debt Coalition and Sanlakas, the event will highlight the people’s continuing objection to the waste-to-incineration facility in Lapu-Lapu City, and the negative impacts of workers’ contractualization and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN).  The “pagbasa” will commence at  Malacañang sa Sugbo, pause at Cebu City Hall and conclude in the vicinity of Metro Gaisano in Colon.  



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