Environmental Watchdog Assails the Christmas Day Littering at Rizal Park

The waste and pollution
watchdog group EcoWaste
Coalition decried the Christmas Day litter that again defiled the country’s premier park.
carelessly left behind assorted trash as if Rizal Park was their dumpsite,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator,
EcoWaste Coalition.
is disrespectful to all park visitors and to our national hero Jose Rizal who
was an environmental health champion of his time,” she said.
As a
nature lover, Rizal, particularly during his period of exile in Dapitan, carried out activities benefiting the
people and the environment such as the aqueduct from a mountain stream to give town
residents access to clean water,
the draining of swamps to control the breeding of malaria mosquitoes, the street lighting system through
coconut oil lamps, and the beautification of the central plaza.
garbage left by the visitors would have angered Rizal, the environmentalist, possibly driving him to write
‘Waste Not’ as a sequel to ‘Noli
Me Tangere’ (touch me not),” she said.
Based on
initial reports, the National Park Development Committee (NPDC), which manages
Rizal Park, removed some 10 truckloads of rubbish from the sprawling park, which drew about 500,000
visitors on December 24 and 25.
“The huge
turnout of visitors was no match to the limited number of garbage sweepers and haulers who have to work extra
hours to sweep the area clean,” she pointed out.
“It’s not
fair for litterbugs to leave the park in a mess.  Littering is unethical and unlawful, too,” she added.
Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, prohibits littering and violators can be  can
be fined from P300 to P1,000,
asked to render community service or be required to pay the fine as well as perform community service.
As the public
concert at Rizal Park on December 31 is projected to lure a big number of New
Year revelers, the EcoWaste Coalition appealed to all visitors to mind their
trash and help the NPDC in keeping the park clean and safe.
throw your trash in the designated bins, or better still bring it home for proper recycling or disposal,” Lucero
“Let us
not bury Rizal under a carpet of trash,” she stated.