WEEKS before today’s Dinagyang highlight, Iloilo City’s Mayor Jerry Treñas made a public appeal: all residents and festival visitors and tourists must make sure not to make the metro a garbage dump.
The good mayor is right. All these years, the morning after the Dinagyang Festival he was greeted with a familiar stomach-upsetting sight – Iloilo City’s downtown full of garbage and very smelly. This should not happen in the 2020 edition of Dinagyang.
So the challenge today is to make Dinagyang more unique from other trash-inducing festivals by minding our waste. And we could make it more solemn (it is, after all, a socio-religious-cultural affair) and meaningful by keeping our environment clean.
While we commend the city government’s waste and sanitation workers who are tasked with picking up the litter that others leave, we believe Dinagyang revelers should take full responsibility for their garbage and stop being a burden to others and the environment.
Let’s be blunt about this. The widespread littering and defilement of the city every Dinagyang speaks of the low regard people have on the environment, the value of cleanliness, and solid waste management. We are saddened by the lack of respect for the environment by people who simply leave their discards lying on the ground for others to pick up. The assorted discards piling up include food leftovers, food packaging, bamboo skewers, polystyrene containers, plastic bags, plastic bottles, soiled newspapers and cigarette butts. Most of these are non-biodegradable.
People mindlessly toss their trash wherever – clearly a deliberate affront on the environment, a violation of our solid waste management law, and an obvious lack of regard to public sanitation.
This should not happen in the 2020 edition of Dinagyang.