DESPITE repeated calls to prevent littering, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has collected at least 20 truckloads of trash at the rear-end of the procession of the Black Nazarene.
Francis Martinez, head of the MMDA’s Metro Parkway Clearing Group said that they are still expecting the volume to increase at the end of the translacion.
“We expect to collect 23 truckloads or 276 tons of trash after the procession,” said Martinez.
He said the tons of garbage were left behind by Nazarene devotees from Luneta up to the Escolta street, the route of the procession.
He said collected waste materials include plastic bottles, barbecue sticks, candy wrappers, biscuit, and wafer wrappers, crumpled plastic bag and spoiled food.
Martinez said the presence of barbecue sticks along the procession routes could be the reason why more devotees were injured.
To remove the stench, Martinez said they brought a fire truck to spray water on the streets.
He said the collected trash were disinfected and transferred to Pier 18 for delivery to the sanitary landfill.
He also said that MMDA and the Manila City government started cleaning up the streets as the devotees moved toward the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene from the starting point at the Quirino Grandstand until Escolta.
“Sa ngayon malinis na yung mga lugar na dinaanan ng procession dahil yung ginawa namin nakasunod or nakabuntot kami dahil pag-alis nila then about two meters from the procession magsisimula na kami maglinis,” Martinez said.
He added that the agency deployed 2,000 personnel for the Traslacion. These included street sweepers, traffic enforcers and emergency paramedics.
MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said that 300 minor injuries have also been reported in the procession.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO