EcoWaste Coalition Lauds “Green Brigade” Volunteers as Black Nazarene Devotees Leave Trash Behind Luneta

The EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution
watchdog, applauded the collective efforts of church, government and civic
groups in cleaning up the heaps of garbage left by Black Nazarene devotees
following the overnight vigil and early morning Mass at the Quirino Grandstand
in Luneta.

At the same time, the group lamented that many of the devotees chose to ignore
the constant plea from the organizers to keep Luneta and the processional trail

A signage put up by the Quiapo Church that says “Ang taong nagmamalasakit sa
kalikasan ay tunay na kalugod-lugod sa Poong Jesus Nazareno.  Pakiusap: Ilagay po lamang ang inyong basura
sa tamang lagayan.  Panatilihing  malinis ang ating kapaligiran,” obviously fell
on deaf ears, the EcoWaste Coalition noted.

While utterly dismayed by the widespread trashing of the grounds of Rizal Park,
the EcoWaste Coalition cited the “Green Brigade” volunteers who immediately
picked up the trash left by devotees who attended the Eucharistic Celebration led
by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle this morning.

Organized by the Quiapo Church, the “Green Brigade” is comprised of volunteers
from the Nazarene Catholic School, Philippine College of Criminology, Sta.
Isabel College, the Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod, the EcoWaste
Coalition and other groups.

Also joining the cleanup were personnel from the Manila’s Department of Public
Services, Metro Manila Development Authority, the  National Parks Development Committee and a group
of devotees led by Barangay Chairman Leony de Belen of Barangay Liang, Malolos,

“We salute them for their voluntarism that we hope  would rub off on others,” said
Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Next time, devotees should be more environmentally caring, exert every effort
to prevent and reduce trash and not depend on others to clean up their mess,”
she added.

“We remain hopeful that future celebrations of the feast of the Black Nazarene
will be devoid of garbage and other excesses,” she said.
The EcoWaste Coalition also lauded unorganized waste pickers who patiently
retrieved recyclable discards such as PET bottles to be sold to junk shops.

The group through Tin Vergara, Zero Waste Campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition,
commended the waste pickers “for their enterprising diligence, thereby
preventing valuable resources from being wasted.”

Aside from plastic bottles, some of the most littered items found at  the Quirino Grandstand and the open field fronting
it were cigarette butts, food leftovers, food wrappers, plastic and paper bags,
polystyrene beverage cups, food containers, soiled carton boxes and newspapers,
the group said.