‘Respect the dead, don’t litter at cemeteries’

MANILA – An environmental group urged the public on Tuesday to show respect to their departed loved ones by not littering when they visit the cemetery on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

Visitors often treat cemeteries as dumpsites of discarded food and food packaging, plastic bottles, soiled papers, and cigarette filters, zero waste advocacy group EcoWaste Coalition said, citing past monitoring by its Basura Patrollers.

“Year in and year out, visitors leave tons of garbage in cemeteries as if littering is a customary ritual that has to happen as we remember our dearly departed,” said EcoWaste Coalition’s Daniel Alejandre.

“It is as if litterbugs are having a field day unmindful of the consequences of their action, which is disrespectful to fellow visitors and to the environment as well,” Alejandre added.

Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, which prohibits the littering, dumping and burning of trash, should be strictly enforced inside and outside cemeteries, Alejandre stressed.

Moreover, EcoWaste called on 2019 midterm elections candidates who might take advantage of the occasion not to engage in political propaganda in cemeteries by handing out leaflets and hanging tarpaulins, which could add to the trash.

“Instead of distributing leaflets with their names and faces, we urge [the candidates] to deploy or support volunteers who can assist in keeping cemeteries litter-free,” he said./PN


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