Eco group: Littering still a problem at Lenten ‘Alay Lakad’
Environmental watchdog group scored the “dismal failure” of many Lenten pilgrims at the annual “Alay Lakad” in Antipolo City on Maundy Thursday.
In a statement on Friday, EcoWaste Coalition cited the “chronic littering” that dotted the roads leading to the Antipolo Cathedral that enshrines the revered Marian image of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.
“For the nth year, littering reared its ugly head as tens of thousands of people braved searing heat on Maundy Thursday to perform their penitential ‘Alay-Lakad’ to Antipolo City,” said Aileen Lucero, coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition.
The roads were strewn with cigarette butts, snack wrappers, plastic bags and bottles, paper cups and bowls to bamboo skewers and coconut fronds.
Open spaces fronting shopping malls and convenience stores and street gutters where pilgrims flocked to rest also had traces of garbage.
“Even the hallowed grounds of the Antipolo Cathedral were not spared,” she said.
“It’s time for the faithful to seriously take to heart what Pope Francis said in ‘Laudato Si (Praise Be)’ [encyclical] that ‘the earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth’ and ditch the dumping habit,” Lucero said.
The EcoWaste Coalition also slammed the election campaign posters of national and local politicians and party-list groups that were attached to fences and lamp posts or plastered on the walls along Ortigas Avenue Extension and Juan Sumulong Highway.
“The political tarpaulins appeared to be competing for the pilgrims’ attention,” Lucero said.
Meanwhile, the group lauded the street cleaners from the Antipolo City Environment and Waste Management Office, who were present to pick up the garbage.
“The city proper would have become a pigsty if not for the 24-hour round the clock sweeping by the city personnel,” Lucero said.
The group also commended the dozens of waste pickers who collected discarded plastic bottles and boxes to sell to junk shops.
“Their oft-ignored service for the environment has, among other things, reduced the volume of trash sent to the dump,” Lucero said. RAM
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