• Respect the dead, keep cemeteries clean


    RESPECT the dead by keeping their final resting places clean.

    The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) is putting out public advisories to encourage people who will troop the cemeteries this coming weekend to observe a “waste less Undas”.Dubbed as “Araw-araw ay Tamang Panahon para sa Tamang Pagtatapon” campaign, the EMB and the Solid Waste Management Division will be posting advisories and friendly reminders on waste management with these hashtags: #WasteLessUndas2015, #TamangPagtatapon and #CLAYGO (Clean as You Go). These Undas 2015 advisories will be posted on the DENR-EMB’s website and social media accounts.

    “We remind everyone to maintain cleanliness and use materials that are reusable or recyclable so that we generate less solid waste,” DENR Assistant Secretary and concurrent EMB Director Juan Miguel T. Cuna said.

    Citing a 2014 National Solid Waste Management Commission report, Cuna said that 200 truckloads of garbage were collected from various cemeteries in the nation’s capital region alone.

    Cuna also encouraged cemetery administrators to set up enough strategically-located receptacles for different types of wastes, and to strictly implement waste-related local ordinances like regulating the use of plastic bags.

    “It is no longer necessary to enumerate the adverse impact of garbage not only on our health but also on the environment. We should all start actively participating in the proper management of our wastes,” he added.

    Palace assures public safety
    Malacañang on Saturday assured that the government is ready to ensure the public’s safety during the observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day weekend.

    Palace spokesman Edwin Lcaierda said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has already instructed local government units to deploy police and medical personnel to make sure that there is no untoward incident would happen.

    “In preparation for All Saints’ Day this weekend, DILG Secretary Mel Sarmiento has directed local officials to mobilize law enforcers and medical personnel and set up contingency plans to prevent untoward incidents,” Lacierda told government-run dzRB radio.

    “We hope for the public’s cooperation as we work together to ensure peace and order,” he added.

    Early visitors
    Thousands trooped to cemeteries in Metro Manila and paid homage to their departed love ones at the Manila North and South cemeteries on Saturday.

    Senator Grace Poe and her son Bryan went to the Manila North Cemetery at past 9 a.m. to pay homage to the late national artist Fernando Poe Jr. They spent some minutes of prayer and hurriedly left.

    Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada also visited Poe’s tomb. Poe died in December 2004 after suffering from a stroke.

    As of noon yesterday, police estimated over 20,000 individuals have visited the North Cemetery, a 54-hectare enclave, along A. Bonifacio Avenue in Santa Cruz area while some 8,000 people went to the Manila South Cemetery which is actually located in Makati City.

    Manila Police District Station 3 commander Supt. Jackson Tullao said so far there was no problem with the peace and order at Manila North Cemetery although his men confiscated two wooden ladders which was being used as an illegal entry point from the cemetery’s Tagaytay Street side.

    At the main gate of the cemetery, children were given name tags indicating the telephone number and name of their mother or guardian to make it easier to locate them in case they are lost.

    The mood was festive in both cemeteries. Vendors and enterprising individuals offer food, massage, and even tomb clean up. Tomb cleaners charge P200 to P300 while a paint job goes for P300 to P500.

    At the South Cemetery, visitors were welcomed by vendors selling AlDub shirts which are being sold for P100-180 for adult sizes and P75 for children’s sizes.

    Children were also busy collecting candle droppings which they sell P20 per kilo.
    Police flagged visitors with deadly weapons, loud speakers and playing cards.

    Cemetery administrators also imposed an “anti-epal” rule, meaning no posters of politicians were allowed, on orders from Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

    A giant image of Estrada and Vice Mayor Isko Moreno which were prominently plastered on the cemetery’s arch have been draped over with colorful cartolinas.

    Personnel from the Manila City Hall took down the campaign tarpaulins and posters. They also covered the names of politicians on medical and public service tents and vehicles.
    Johnny Yu, head of Manila Disaster and Risk Management Office, said there was no untoward incident reported as of press time.

    Meanwhile, the Manila City Hall sent flowers to the tombs of some personalities in Manila South Cemetery such as President Elpidio Quirino, former Manila Mayors Ramon Bagatsing and Leon Guinto, and national artists Lucresia Roces Kasilag and Lope K. Santos.


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