THE New Year celebration at the Rizal Park was a total success with no untoward incident and a record attendance of at least 100,000 witnessing the countdown.
This was learned from National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) Executive Director Penelope Belmonte, who also relayed the happy news that minimal trash was left behind by parkgoers who trooped to Luneta on New Year’s eve and New Year’s Day, compared to those who went there on Christmas eve and Christmas day.
She said that urgent calls have been made to the public for them to maintain cleanliness within the park premises after truckloads of trash were collected during the Christmas celebration on December 24 and 25 alone.
Belmonte expressed disappointment that despite all the signs conspicuously put up in strategic areas of the park premises and the presence of huge trash bins, many of the parkgoers opted to leave their trash behind.
Despite the non-stop cleaning of park utility personnel, the litter seemed endless, she said, as she expressed empathy for those tasked with cleaning after the park visitors, many of whom chose to spend the night in the park to welcome Christmas Day.
Belmonte ordered several parts of the park closed and had the merry-making concentrated in one area to ensure that Luneta will welcome the New Year in its usual ‘spic and span’ self and such move, she said, proved to be a success.
Meanwhile, she thanked the Manila Police District (MPD) for helping maintain safety and orderliness in the park during the holiday season, particularly the day leading to and on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.