The Metro Manila Development Authority collected at least 168 truckloads of garbage from various cemeteries in the metropolis during the observance of All Saints’ Day.
This despite the appeal of Church officials and various environmental groups for the faithful to avoid leaving their trash inside cemeteries.
“The number is lesser compared to last year’s celebration with 183 truckloads of garbage,” said Francis Martinez, head of MMDA’s Metro Parkway Clearing Group.
He said his group are still conducting cleanup operations in various cemeteries in the cities of Pasay, Valenzuela, San Juan, Quezon, Parañaque, Taguig, Marikina, Manila, Pasig and Mandaluyong and in the municipality of Pateros.
Environmentalist group Ecowaste Coalition lamented the “throw-away culture” that again defined the annual observance of Undas.
“The culture of throwing discards wherever and whenever it is convenient again spoiled our time-honored tradition of remembering our departed relatives,” said Aileen Lucero, Ecowaste national coordinator.
“Many people still litter, rain or shine. The repeated reminders from government, church, political and environmental leaders were no match for these hardened litterbugs,” she added.
Based on the group’s monitoring of 15 private and public cemeteries in Metro Manila, Cavite and Rizal, many visitors failed to bring home their discards for proper recycling and disposal at home.
The group bewailed the rampant littering in the Caloocan Public Cemetery in Caloocan City, Manila North Cemetery in Manila City, Manila South Cemetery in Makati City, Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City and the Bagbag Cemetery in Quezon City.
“Bagbag cemetery was filled with rubbish strewn all over the place. In many cases, we saw people sitting next to piles of garbage. It was the most pitiful sight we have seen during our Undas trash monitoring this year,” Lucero added.