Environmental and Health Groups Call for Litter-Free, Smoke-Free Holy Week Activities


Two environmental and health
organizations today urged the faithful to make their observance of Lent this
year litter-free, as well as smoke-free.
Through a joint press release, the EcoWaste Coalition and the Framework
Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance, Philippines (FCAP) said that preventing
litter and smoke during the Holy Week and beyond is good for the health and the
“We appeal to the faithful to aim for zero litter as they recall the passion of
Christ, seek forgiveness for past sins and renew their faith through various
rites during the Holy Week,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste
“Please avoid all forms of littering when you go on pilgrimage to churches and
shrines and participate in Via Crucis
(Way of the Cross) and Santo Entierro
(Holy Interment) processions and the Easter Sunday pre-dawn Salubong re-enacting the meeting of the
Risen Christ with Virgin Mary,” she said.
The group expressed its hope that the penitential walk to Antipolo City on
Maundy Thursday will not again be tarnished by litterbugs who leave a carpet of
trash along the route year in and year out. 
“We urge the faithful to turn away from cigarette smoking for their health and
well-being,” said Dr. Maria Encarnita Limpin, Executive Director, FCAP.
“Please don’t pollute the Holy Week activities, including the Alay Lakad, Pabasa and the processions,
with hazardous smoke that can put your health and the health of those around
you at risk,” she said.
“We further advise those who are into e-cigarettes not to smoke in public as
this can expose other people to secondhand emissions.  Some studies have detected carcinogenic
substances like benzene, formaldehyde and tobacco-specific nitrosamines from
such emissions,” Limpin, who is also a regent at the Philippine College of
Physicians, added.  
Both the EcoWaste Coalition and FCAP enjoined national and local government
agencies to fully enforce the relevant prohibitions against littering and
smoking under Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and
Republic Act 9211, the Tobacco Regulation Act, respectively.