EcoWaste Coalition Backs Manila’s Call for Vigilance against Littering during Undas

The EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watchdog, welcomed a resolution adopted by the City Council of Manila to enhance ecological waste management during the observance of Undas.

“We recognize the City Council for its effort to avert a sure garbage headache and we appeal to all sectors to support waste prevention and reduction during the massive commemoration of Undas,” said Edwin Alejo, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.       

Through the resolution, the City Council emphasized that “the observance of this time-honored tradition, which is uniquely Filipino, must not be made as an excuse for litterbugs to pollute the surroundings, cause harm to human health and the environment, and show disregard and disrespect to the living and the dead.”

Filed by District II Councilor Numero G. Lim and adopted in a session presided over by Councilor Marlon M. Lacson, President Pro Tempore, the City Council “strongly called for vigilance against littering, indiscriminate disposal of garbage and other wasteful acts in public cemeteries” in Manila.

The City Council urged the City Department of Public Services, the City Department of Health and concerned barangays and NGOs to “strictly enforce regarding prohibitions against littering and other forms of harmful practices such as open burning and open dumping,” which are unlawful acts under Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

The said agencies of the City Government and the frontline barangays bordering the cemeteries have the moral responsibility to maintain law and order, and secure public health and safety during the Undas, the resolution noted.

The City Council also urged the “deploy(ment) by the City Department of Public Services of adequate number of personnel before, during and after Undas (October 31, November 1 and 2) to help with the sanitation, clean-up and upkeep of cemeteries and adjacent communities, as well as with the enforcement of anti-littering ordinances.”

The City Council further urged concerned barangays to initiate the following waste prevention and reduction measures:

-“put up banners reminding visitors that their barangay and cemetery is a waste-free zone and litterbugs will be duly penalized”

-“put up recycling stations in high human traffic areas to assist visitors in properly managing their discards”

– “mobilize community volunteers and/or engage the services of waste pickers or informal recyclers to help with the cleanliness and the ecological management of discards”

– “require vendors to have their own waste bins and to clean up their assigned spots”

– “encourage vendors to refrain from using or giving single-use plastic disposables such as bags, cups, straws, etc. and to serve beverage and food in reusable glasses, mugs and plates”

In adopting the resolution, the City Council noted that the “deeply engrained and centuries-old cultural tradition of paying respects to our departed loved ones is oftentimes marred by the unwholesome habit of some people by strewing litter and other forms of trash within and (outside) the cemeteries.”

“Sadly it has been our experience of seeing these litterbugs casually throw or leave their trash on the streets leading to cemetery gates, as well as in the narrow alleys inside the cemetery premises,” the resolution said.