DO not use the feast of Black Nazarene and the “Traslacion” as a platform for premature campaigning for the May 2019 polls.
This was the call of the environment-advocate group EcoWaste Coalition to candidates whom they called “epalitikos,” saying they must respect the sanctity of the Traslacion, and avoid using the occasion to prematurely campaign by posting their tarpaulins in the area or distributing campaign materials which will only turn into ugly litter.
“Epalitikos, please restrain yourselves. Traslacion is not the time to draw attention to yourselves,” Zero waste campaigner Daniel Alejandre said.
“Epalitikos” (a compound slang of “epal” or “attention-seeker” and “pulítiko” or “politician”) should not take advantage of the millions upon millions of Catholic faithful who are expected at the procession of the Black Nazarene on Jan. 9 to promote their candidacies,” he added.
The group is worried that premature campaigning will only worsen the habitual littering that has tainted the annual re-enactment of the Traslacion for many years.
Some 385 tons of mixed garbage were hauled from Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park to the Quiapo district during the traditional “Pahalik” and the six-kilometer procession last year compared to the 341 tons collected in 2017, according to the Manila City Government.
Alejandre said that if politicians cannot help make their presence felt by the crowd, they can just offer food and water to the devotees in reusable containers (not in single-use plastic and polystyrene disposables), which should be retrieved, washed and reused.
He also urged politicians to deploy volunteers along the processional route to help with the anti-littering drive and clean-up.