Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tons of trash left by devotees

The call of Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales to keep the Quirino Grandstand, where the Mass for the feast of the Black Nazarene was held on January 9 (Sunday) and its surroundings, has fallen on deaf ears again.

This, as the devotees of the black image of Jesus Christ left tons and tons of garbage at the Manila venue.

“We should leave this place clean, without trash,” said Rosales to thousands of people who heard the 6:00 am mass.

He added, “Let us be united this morning and in our love for the Nazareno let us not leave trash.”

Despite this, Rosales is hoping that celebration will be different next year.

The senior Church official said that the people should be aware of the issues of environment.

“We have to be more proactive and not wait for others to complain before we become mindful of our trash,” he said.

Earlier, an environmental group reported that garbage generation in Quiapo area rises from 18 tons to 36 tons per day or 72 tons during the two-day period celebration.

EcoWaste coalition said that the garbage left by devotees 80-85% are biodegradable discards during the January 8 and 9 celebrations.

Biodegradable discards include kitchen scraps, food leftovers, soiled paper, plant and other organic matters. (PNA)

Red Cross 708 patients in Feast of the Black Nazarene; Ecowaste Coalition blasts devotees for littering Quiapo

MANILA, Jan. 10(PNA) –- The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Monday said it served a total of 708 persons—with cases varying from blood pressure taking, minor wound care, headache, dizziness, epilepsy, exhaustion, difficulty in breathing, and head injury during Sunday’s Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila.

PRC officials said the figure also included the 13 patients which PRC-Emergency Response Unit (ERU) ambulances transported to Ospital ng Maynila in Malate, Gat Andres Bonifacio Hospital in Tondo, Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center in Sta. Cruz and Abad Santos Hospital in Tondo.

“It is a great relief on our part to say that no major untoward incidents took place in line with this year’s celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene,” said PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang.

She added, “Evidently, everyone has already learned the value of being properly informed; thus, we try to supplement this with intensified public education on disaster prevention, topped with important safety tips and reminders.”

Based on PRC’s record, nine ambulances, two rubber boats, and four support vehicles were utilized in accordance to this operation; and along with these are 250 staff and volunteers who constantly monitored the situation.

In line with the success of the operation, PRC Chairman Richard Gordon extended his sincerest gratitude to those who selflessly took part in it.

He said, “I have to thank all the PRC staff and volunteers for their compassionate service in assuring our countrymen’s safety all throughout this occasion despite the erratic weather condition,” Gordon said.

Meanwhile, the EcoWaste Coalition said Monday it is disappointed with the “trashing of Luneta Park and Quiapo” during the Feast of the Black Nazarene.

The group noted that in the wake of the procession, Quirino Grandstand and Rizal Park were left awash with food leftovers and wrappers, used food and beverage containers, plastic bottles and bags, soiled cartons and newspapers, empty cans and even used disposable diapers.

Ecowaste estimated that the scattered discards could easily fill up 200 to 250 garbage bags. Calls made by ecology groups, the Church and the local government since Monday, appealing for devotees to pick up their own trash, were apparently left unheeded.

“Let’s get real. Our prayerful devotion to the Black Nazarene should be complemented with the highest respect for God’s creation and not by dropping litter anywhere,” said EcoWaste Coalition president Roy Alvarez.


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