Pilgrims’ littering, ‘wasteful penitential acts’ scored
Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition on Friday expressed dismay over those who committed “unbridled acts of littering” at pilgrim sites in Antipolo and Bulacan this Holy Week.
The group released photos of trash found at the Our Lady of Peace Cathedral in Antipolo City, Rizal province and the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan province, both popular Lenten pilgrimage sites.
The group said they went to the sites on Friday morning “to check on the garbage situation following the penitential pilgrimage that attracted millions of devotees from the National Capital Region and nearby provinces.”
“We regret that the lack of discipline in the proper management of discards has again marred the penitential pilgrimage that many Filipinos do to atone for past mistakes and shortcomings,” EcoWaste Coalition National Coordinator Aileen Lucero said in a statement.
She said roads leading to the sites were littered with candy and food wrappers, plastic bags and bottles, and cigarette filters.
“The situation could have been worse if not for the hundreds of street sweepers deployed by the local government units of Pasig, Cainta, Taytay and Antipolo who worked around the clock to clean the streets of trash,” she said, adding that scavengers also helped reduce the volume of trash.
The group said people who spent the night near Antipolo Cathedral also left trash behind, including newspapers, posters and other improvised “sleeping pads.” Disposable diapers and bear bottles were also left littering the church’s patio.
“The oft-repeated reminder from the church aired over the public address system for pilgrims to bring home or properly disposed of such sleeping materials was ignored,” the group said.
Meanwhile, piles of food containers and wrappers were found near the Lourdes Grotto.
EcoWaste said pilgrims should “embrace the saying ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’ to heart, especially when they carry out penitential acts.”
“The activities in remembrance of the Passion of Christ, which is commemorated during the Holy Week, should not generate ‘holitrash,’” the group said. “Wasteful penitential acts should die away as we struggle to live amid the changing climate,” the group said. IDL
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