Environmental Group Airs Appeal for Litter-Free Fiesta in Honor of the Black Nazarene

(Photo Courtesy of Danny Pata, GMA News TV)
The EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watchdog, reiterated its appeal for a garbage-free feast of the Black Nazarene that is expected to draw millions of devotees from near and far.

The group renewed its plea as replicas of the Black Nazarene are paraded this afternoon around Quiapo by faithful followers in the lead up to the massive procession on Monday, January 9.

Roy Alvarez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition, urged devotees to heed the call for environmental responsibility as they carry out their spiritual vows.

“The profession of our faith and devotion should ease, not worsen, the waste and sanitation conditions in Quiapo district. As the ancient saying goes, cleanliness is next to godliness,” he said.

“As home of the most revered image of the Black Nazarene, it will be most fitting to keep Quiapo clean, especially on January 9, His feast day,” he emphasized.

“We hope the great feast day of Black Nazarene will be marked as well as a day of ecological awareness, responsibility and conversion, which is only apt given the woes afflicting the environment,” he added.

To minimize the environmental impacts of the spectacular feast, the EcoWaste Coalition called for a united stance against littering.

“If devotees can walk barefoot for kilometers as an act of humility and penance,we’re sure they can without doubt not litter,” Alvarez said.

The EcoWaste Coalition encouraged devotees and the general public to observe the following:

1. Do not throw garbage anywhere; dispose of your trash into the right bins.
2. Return food and beverage discards to vendors, especially bamboo skewers that can cause foot injuries.
3. Refrain from smoking; if you do, don’t toss butts on the ground.
4. Say no to plastic bags; bring a foldable reusable bag for your “pasalubong.”
5. Refrain from spitting and urinating in public places.

“We hope our appeal for an ecological fiesta will not fall on deaf ears. A litter-free fiesta will be pleasing to Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno and also to Mother Earth,” Alvarez said.

According to Manila’s Department of Public Services, haulers collected 82.5 cubic meters of trash last January 1, 2012 from the Plaza Miranda-Quiapo area after the festivities, up from the usual 58 cubic meters during ordinary days.