At least 100 truckloads of garbage were collected by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) from cemeteries in Metro Manila during All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
MMDA Metro Parkway Clearing Group Chief Francis Martinez on Sunday said their personnel have assisted different local government units (LGUs) in the clean-up operations which started from October 28 to November 2.
He said they collected 98 truckloads of trash, which is equivalent to 588 metric tons, in 23 cemeteries in Metro Manila.
According to him, this is lower compared to the more than 100 truckloads of garbage or equivalent to more than 600 metric tons of waste collected last year.
The bulk of the garbage, he said, came from the Manila North Cemetery, the metropolis’ largest cemetery, followed by the Manila South Cemetery in Makati City and the La Loma Catholic Cemetery in Quezon City.
Martinez attributed this development to the massive information campaign not only by government but also non-government organizations which have also fielded volunteers in public cemeteries to help collect the garbage as it segregate.
He also said segregation will tremendously reduce the volume of garbage in the waterways and keep pumping stations easy to pump big volume of water and not garbage.
Meanwhile, the EcoWaste Coalition criticized some cemeteries, including Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City, for allowing tarpaulin ads to be nailed on trees.
“The tarps nailed on trees by popular food outlets leave a bad taste in the mouth and should be removed at once. This appalling act can cause stress to a tree and ultimately damage and kill it,” said coordinator Aileen Lucero in a statement.
The group lauded the Manila North Cemetery and Manila South Cemetery for improved solid waste management.
“We commend the efforts by the new management of the Manila North and South Cemeteries to increase public awareness against littering, improve cleanliness and introduce operational programs on ecological solid waste management in their respective domains of supervision,” said campaigner Tin Vergara.
MMDA Assistant General Manager for Operations Emerson Carlos said more than 2,000 MMDA workers were still on the road to ensure the safe and hassle-free travel of the people returning to Metro Manila from the provinces.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO