120 tons 'Undas' garbage collected
MANILA - Around 120 tons of garbage were collected from various cemeteries in Metro Manila by cleanup teams of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority on All Saints’ Day, an MMDA official said yesterday.
“Our Metro Parkways Clearing Group will continue the cleanup until tomorrow,” said MMDA general manager Corazon Jimenez.
The MMDA earlier deployed more than 2,000 personnel for its “Oplan Kaluluwa 2013” aimed at maintaining order during the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
The operation started on Oct. 25 and will end tomorrow.
Meanwhile, barangay executive officer Ed Villareal said they expect to collect around 10 trucks of garbage until tomorrow in Bagbag Cemetery in Novaliches.
He said the volume of garbage collected in the cemetery this year was similar to that of last year.
In the nearby Holy Cross Cemetery, park services supervisor Nathaniel Tamonte said they expect to collect more than 50 trucks of garbage from the cemetery this year.
He said they will start hauling the trash from their designated dumpsite in the cemetery tomorrow.
An environmental watchdog yesterday decried the widespread littering that reportedly marred the annual commemoration of All Saints’ Day.
The EcoWaste Coalition lamented the blatant violation of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act during visits to cemeteries despite persistent appeals by the government and civil
society to avoid littering throughout the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
“We grieve over the rampant littering on Nov. 1 that sullied the cemeteries and adjoining streets. Although the volume of trash may not be as bad as in previous years, we find the littering in cemeteries as regrettable. Litterbugs should mind their bad habits and try recycling next time,” said Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste Coalition coordinator.
The group issued the statement as its volunteers from Eco-Marino-Malabon City and the Diocese of Caloocan Ecology Ministry participated in the early morning cleanup activities at the Manila North Cemetery yesterday.
The EcoWaste Coalition also scored cemeteries, particularly the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City, for allowing tarpaulin ads to be nailed on trees in violation of RA 3571 which “prohibits the cutting, destroying or injuring of planted or growing trees, flowering plants and shrubs or plants of scenic value along public roads, in plazas, parks, school premises or in any other public ground.”
Monitoring by the EcoWaste Coalition in various cemeteries in Metro Manila revealed that two major cemeteries – Manila North Cemetery and Manila South Cemetery – were the two most improved in terms of solid waste management as compared to last year.
On the other hand, among the most visible discards abandoned by visitors in the cemeteries as observed by the basura (garbage) patrollers were food leftovers, disposable plates, cups and cutlery, styrofoam containers, pizza boxes, plastic bags and bottles, soiled brown bags and newspapers, candy and snack
wrappers, cigarette filters and commercial leaflets.
There were also reports of open burning as evidenced by the ash and incompletely burned materials found in some street corners, vacant lots and near desolated tombs. – With Rhodina Villanueva, Ric Sapnu, Janvic Mateo