MANILA, Philippines – After crowds flocked to Luneta Park to celebrate Christmas, the famous tourist destination was littered with used plastic bottles, plastic cups, and other pieces of trash left by visitors on Wednesday, December 26.
In light of this, Ecowaste Coalition, a national network of groups advocating for sustainable solutions to waste, appealed to the public to value the environment and keep public spaces clean.
“Kung paano nating pinapanatiling maayos, ligtas at maaliwalas ang ating mga tahanan, gayundin sana ang pagtrato natin sa ating kapaligiran,” it said in its statement.
(Just like how we keep our homes orderly, safe, and bright, we should do the same thing with our surroundings.)
It also reminded the public that littering is strongly discouraged. Republic Act No. 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act prohibits “littering, throwing, dumping of waste matters in public places, such as roads, sidewalks, canals, esteros or parks, and establishment, or causing or permitting the same,” with penalties ranging from fines of P300 to P500 or community service for 1-15 days.
“Ang pagkakalat ay isang masamang ugali na sumasalamin sa ating kawalang respeto at pagmamalasakit kay Inang Kalikasan at sa ating kapwa,” it added.
(Littering is bad behavior that mirrors our disrespect and lack of concern for Mother Nature and humankind.)
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada also advised the public to be responsible with their trash.
“Maging responsable sa pagtatapon ng inyong mga basura upang mapanatili ang ganda ng Maynila,” he said. (Be responsible for disposing your trash, so we can preserve the beauty of Manila.)
The Department of Tourism (DOT) joined the appeal to keep parks clean.
In a statement issued also on Wednesday, the DOT said: “We would like to remind everyone that preserving our country’s destinations is also the duty of its citizens. Let us be responsible tourists by throwing our trash in the proper trash bins. While we continue our efforts to maintain the quality of our tourist sites, we look forward to your cooperation this coming New Year celebration.”
Various public parks and spaces, aside from Luneta Park, have also been littered with trash from visitors after the holiday celebrations. Some of these are Doña Leonila Park in Laguna, and Plaza Mabini in Batangas.
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