MANILA, Philippines – “The repeated call by various sectors for an environmentally-responsible expression of piety and devotion again fell on deaf ears.”
The EcoWaste coalition lamented the widespread littering at the Luneta Park in Manila on Thursday, January 9, after the image of Black Nazarene left Quirino Grandstand for Traslacion. (READ: IN PHOTOS: First few hours of Traslacion 2020)
In a statement released Thursday, the group said they saw “lots of bins and bags teeming with mixed garbage, including sleeping materials, food leftovers, urine-filled plastic bottles, dirty diapers, and hordes of single-use plastics.”
According to EcoWaste, devotees left their trash despite signages warning against littering at the park.
“Some people recklessly threw their rubbish anywhere, which government workers and volunteers from church, school, and environmental groups had to pick up,” the group said.
This problem isn’t new. In the past years, despite constant reminders, Catholic devotees who participated in the procession still failed to keep their trash with them. (READ: Tons of trash during Traslacion ‘deplorable’ – watchdog)
The EcoWaste coalition hopes that in the years to come devotees will listen to calls for ecological conversion.
“While we deeply regret the trashing of Rizal Park and the streets of Manila for the nth time, we remain confident that the situation will improve in the coming years as more devotees of the Black Nazarene listen to the call for ecological conversion amid growing plastic and chemical pollution and climate change,” the group said.
According to the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, there were about 2,371,000 devotees following the image of Black Nazarene as of 8:50 am Thursday.
This year’s Traslacion was expected to end earlier than in previous years as it had taken a new route. – Rappler.com