Strictly enforce the country’s solid waste management in memorial parks and public cemeteries nationwide.
This is the appeal of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu to all local government units (LGUs) as millions of Filipinos who will flock to the cemeteries for the observation of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day continue to generate huge volume of garbage which is practically turning graveyards into dumpsites.
Cimatu said there’s a need to apply the full force of the law against litterbugs in order to send a strong message that littering would not be tolerated
“LGUs should not hesitate penalizing litterbugs by imposing fines or making them render community service,” Cimatu suggested.
An estimated 30,000 tons of garbage is generated in the country every day, with 8,000 tons produced in Metro Manila alone. The volume shoots up during public events like Undas.
Last year, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority reported that more than 5,000 tons of trash were hauled just from six major public cemeteries and memorial parks in the metropolis.
Cimatu said he hopes this will not be repeated this year and that the public will “avoid generating waste, especially plastic that end up in landfills where it may take up to 1,000 years to decompose.”
RA 9003 provides that the LGUs are primarily responsible for waste segregation and disposal.
During Undas, Cimatu said the LGUs should reduce the amount of trash gathered from graveyards and minimize waste that go into landfills.
Cimatu, however, stressed that the general public must also do its share in keeping graveyards clean and free of trash.
He then appealed to those who will pay homage to their departed loved ones to make the observance of Undas more meaningful by keeping memorial parks and public cemeteries “waste-free.”
Cimatu said the DENR will never get tired of reminding the public about proper waste disposal “until the time comes when all of us who troop to cemeteries during Undas show respect for both the living and the dead.”
“Let us respect the sanctity of both the occasion and the final resting place of our departed loved ones by making the surroundings free from unwanted garbage,” Cimatu pointed out.