LOOK: Trash piles up at four pilgrimage sites in Metro Manila, nearby provinces
MANILA, Philippines — Pro-environmental group EcoWaste Coalition lamented on Saturday the return of “traditional littering” during Holy Week, as trash piles up at pilgrimage sites in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
Based on its monitoring on Good Friday, EcoWaste said that some Catholic pilgrims who participated in Holy Week-related activities chose to ignore its reminder to honor religious sites and keep them clean.
Among the places of worship it observed were the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in San Jose del Monte City, the International Shrine of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in Antipolo City, Stations of the Cross at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Marilao, Bulacan, and Quiapo Church.
“While some opted to bring their discards home or dispose them in available bins, many visitors, without remorse, threw or abandoned their trash along the streets and in pilgrimage sites, which are places for prayer and reflection, for cleaners or sweepers to pick up,” the group said in a statement.
“Littering, which has become a tradition in itself, is truly appalling and unacceptable,” it added.
On Holy Tuesday April 4, EcoWaste and the local government of Antipolo City appealed to citizens participating in the penitential “alay-lakad” to refrain from littering and observe the proverb “cleanliness is next to godliness.”
However, the group observed that trash bins at the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto overflowed with plastic bottles, bags, and food waste, while some discards were scattered on the roads and hilly terrain leading to the 14 Stations of the Cross.
Likewise, scattered pieces of solid waste were also found along Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage after some pilgrims left their improvised sleeping materials, plastic bottles, and other food waste behind.
The group also observed the same thing at the Stations of the Cross at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy and Quiapo Church.
In line with this, the group appealed to the public to move away from disposable culture which continues to destroy nature.
“It’s high time to move away from disposable culture. Ecological conversion and solidarity are urgently needed amid the triple planetary emergencies involving climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, which threaten human health, livelihoods, and the ecosystems we depend on,” said EcoWaste.