The EcoWaste Coalition implored the pilgrims to carry out their religious vows without trashing the streets leading to the Antipolo Cathedral, home of the miraculous image of “Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.”
“Don’t be a litterbug. Please don’t leave a carpet of garbage along the ‘Alay-Lakad’ routes. Otherwise, call it an ‘Alay-Kalat’ pilgrimage,” pleaded Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Ang ating panatang paglalakad ay huwag naman sanang maging penitensya o parusa para sa mga taga-walis ng lansangan,” he added.
During the past years, EcoWaste Coalition’s Basura Patrollers noted the unsightly littering in Ortigas Avenue Extension, Marcos Highway and Sumulong Highway, in the vicinity of churches and roadside “Stations of the Cross” where pilgrims momentarily stop to pray.
“As an act of gratitude for the blessings that Mother Earth provides, please help out in keeping the streets clean by picking up litter and putting them into the proper bins,” he suggested.
“Please don’t set the garbage piles on fire, which is, like littering, against the law. You will only worsen the problem by creating toxic smokes and fumes,” he added.
“Remember: God recycles, the devil burns,” he said in jest.
Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, lists littering and open burning among the prohibited acts under this law.
Littering is punishable with a fine of P300 to P1,000 or a one to 15-day community service at the local government unit where the unlawful act was committed, or both.
On the other hand, open burning is punishable with a fine ranging from P300 to P1,000, or a one to 15-day imprisonment, or both.
Towards a litter-free “Alay-Lakad,” the EcoWaste Coalition reminded the pilgrims to observe the following:
1. Refrain from all forms of indiscriminate disposal during the walk such as littering, spitting and urinating in public.
2. Place items to be disposed of in your pocket or bag until you have found a bin to put them.
3. Refrain from smoking during the walk to prevent pollution from tobacco smoke and from cigarette butts.
4. Bring your own water in a “reusable container” to avoid buying bottled water or “palamig” in plastic bags or cups.
5. Bring a reusable carry bag for pasalubong like kasoy, kalamay and suman that are aplenty in Antipolo City.