Cemetery trash disappoints bishop

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People pass a pile of uncollected garbage in Bagbag Cemetery, Quezon City on All Saints’ Day, Nov. 1, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Eco-Waste Coalition)

MANILA, Nov. 3, 2016— This year’s All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day celebrations left a Catholic bishop irked about the condition of some cemeteries, which he said were littered by tons of trash.

Bishop Pablo David of Caloocan said he was totally disappointed over the lack of respect shown by many people for the dead and for the environment.

“I find it very ironic that you go to the cemetery to pay your respects but you don’t respect the environment,” said the prelate over Manila archdiocese-run Radio Veritas.

“If we truly respect the dead, I hope we would be more responsible, especially in terms of waste management,” he said.

As of Wednesday, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it had already collected around 168 truckloads of garbage from 23 cemeteries in Metro Manila.

MMDA Metro Parkway Clearing Group head Francis Martinez, however, said the figure is much lesser compared to last year’s celebration of 302 truckloads of garbage collected from the same cemeteries.

Martinez also said the number was still expected to rise since the cleanup drive in the cemeteries will continue until Saturday.

Environmental group Eco-Waste Coalition also lamented the “throw-away” culture that again “spoiled” the annual observance of Undas.

“The culture of throwing discards wherever and whenever it is convenient again spoiled our time-honored tradition of remembering our departed relatives,” said Aileen Lucero, Ecowaste national coordinator.

David said he was pleased that various volunteers helped clean up local cemeteries, some of them are not even Catholic like the Buddhists from the Tzu Chi Foundation.

“We should be ashamed that those from other religion are the ones helping and showing us how to pay respect by keeping our cemeteries clean,” he said. (CBCPNews)

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