EcoWaste Coalition Calls for Tough Enforcement of R.A. 9003 as Cemetery Litterbugs Reared their Ugly Heads Anew

 Mandaluyong Catholic Cemetery

 Pasay City Public Cemetery

 Makati Catholic Cemetery

 Manila South Cemetery

 Manila South Cemetery

 Manila Memorial Park-Paranaque City

 Manila Memorial Park-Paranaque City

 TV5’s Makata with “Zombasura”

GMA7’s Rhea Santos interviews another “Zombasura”
A waste and pollution watchdog has deplored the
widespread violation of the ban against littering, an irresponsible and illegal
behavior under our national as well as local environmental laws.

The EcoWaste Coalition wasted no time in showing its disapproval over the way
Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and related local
ordinances were ignored by some people as millions visited the tombs of their
departed ones.

Littering is prohibited under
Section 48 of R.A. 9003 and litterbugs can be punished with a fine of P300 to
P1,000 and obliged to do community service at the local government unit where
the offense was perpetrated, or be directed to pay the fine as well as render community

The EcoWaste Coalition issued the statement as its youth volunteers from
Ecomarino-Malabon and Malaya-Cavite participated in the early morning cleanup activities
at the Manila North and South Cemeteries today.

“We grieve over the massive littering on November 1 that sullied the cemeteries
and adjoining streets, and not even a single person was apprehended and
penalized for this most basic environmental offense,” lamented Edwin Alejo,
Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“From dawn to dusk, litterbugs were practically allowed to trash their
surroundings to the max without any risk of being chastised, creating ugly
mini-dumpsites in cemeteries,” he noted.

“The ‘Zombasura’ among us should voluntarily admit their guilt, make amends for
such offense and pledge not to litter again,” he said.

The EcoWaste Coalition coined the term “Zombasura” to describe people who
recklessly leave or throw their discards in hallowed burial grounds.

The EcoWaste Secretariat has received reports of rampant littering in a number
of cemeteries, particularly at the Sangandaan Public Cemetery in Caloocan City,
 Tugatog Public Cemetery in Malabon City,
Makati Catholic Cemetery, Makati City Cemetery, Manila North Cemetery, Manila
North Green Park, Manila South Cemetery, Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City, Mandaluyong Catholic Cemetery, Pasay
City Public Cemetery, and Holy Gardens Memorial Park and St. Clement Catholic
Cemetery in Angono, Rizal.

Volunteers reported seeing large amounts of litter dropped, especially around
food stalls, bins overflowing with garbage, storm drains covered with trash and
garbage dumped in street corners, vacant lots and in broken or unattended
tombs. There were also reports of open burning as evidenced by the ash and
incompletely burned materials found in some spots.

Reports also highlighted the ill-preparedness of government agencies and
cemetery administrators to deal with the discards from such a large number of
visitors as shown by the lack of operational programs on ecological solid waste
management in most cemeteries.

Among the typical discards found in the cemeteries were food leftovers, paper
and plastic food containers and wrappers, plastic bags, plastic bottles,
plastic cups, cigarette butts, grass cuttings and other yard waste, and
commercial and religious leaflets.  

Some photos of improper waste disposal at the cemeteries can be viewed at the
EcoWaste blog at http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com/