4 April 2023, Quezon City. The Antipolo City Government and the EcoWaste Coalition appealed to the general public, especially the youth, who will join the penitential Alay-Lakad to the “Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines” to avoid littering at all times.
Through a joint statement, the city government and the zero waste advocacy group expressed their optimism that the youth pilgrims will cooperate in making this year’s Alay-Lakad litter-free in keeping with the proverb “cleanliness is next to godliness.”
“After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Antipolo City Government is ready to welcome Alay-Lakad pilgrims from near and far,” said Mayor Casimiro Ynares III. “This year’s pilgrimage is made even more special with the declaration of the Antipolo Cathedral as the international shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage by the Holy See.”
“We invite all pilgrims to join hands in keeping the roads leading to the country’s first international shrine free from all forms of garbage as we, Antipolenyos, abide in the city’s 4M campaign which promotes Mapayapa (peaceful), Mataimtim (solemn), Maingat (vigilant), and among all these, Malinis (clean) observance of the Semana Santa,” he added. “We will deploy an adequate number of street sweepers for sure, but please be responsible enough not to throw or leave trash on the streets and sidewalks.”
For his part, Jove Benosa, EcoWaste Coalition’s Zero Waste Campaigner, reminded the pilgrims to perform their penitential walk in a manner that will not sully the surroundings with common litter such as cigarette butts, food and beverage containers, snack wrappers, food leftovers, plastic bags, soiled papers, and used face masks.
“As ‘cleanliness is next to godliness,’ we urge the faithful not to leave any trail of trash as they walk to Antipolo City to atone for past shortcomings, to say a prayer of petition or to thank the Almighty for an answered prayer,” he said.
He reminded that Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, strictly forbids littering in public places. This environmental offense is likewise prohibited under Antipolo City Ordinance 2008-287, or the Basura Code.
“An eco-friendly conduct of the Alay-Lakad will prevent the creation of waste and their indiscriminate disposal and help a great deal in maintaining the integrity and beauty of the Antipolo Cathedral and its environs,” Benosa added.
Towards an eco-friendly Alay-Lakad, the EcoWaste Coalition encouraged pilgrims to:
- Walk with water in a reusable container to avoid the consumption of water and sweetened drinks in disposable plastic bags and bottles.
- Opt to take your meals in eateries that serve food and water in reusable containers.
- Bring a reusable carry bag for the suman and other native delicacies that you can bring home from Antipolo.
- Dispose of your discards in proper bins.
- Refrain from smoking or vaping.