TINGOG party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt Romualdez yesterday called for a trash-free All Saints/Souls’ Day celebration.
Romualdez, the chairperson of the House Committee on the Welfare of Children, appealed to millions of Filipinos who will pay their respects to their departed loved ones, particularly in Metro Manila to observe environmental concerns.
“While we celebrate treasured memories of those who have gone to rest in God’s embrace, let us also remember environmental considerations from the expected garbage that might be piling up. The people should help maintain cleanliness,” said Romualdez, wife of House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez.
Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo, a vice chairperson of the House committee on Metro Manila development, agreed with Romualdez, and asked the public not to bring too much food and flowers in fulfilling the Filipinos’ unique tradition of honoring their departed ones.
“Excess can become the garbage so let’s only take what can be consumed,” Castelo said as he encouraged everyone to bring their own garbage bags as not all cemeteries have adequate trash bins.
“Garbage is easy to manage when you have bags to contain them,” said Castelo. “As we remember the dead on All Souls Day, let us also not forget to be garbage-conscious so we can help promote clean environment.”
Romualdez, the former chairperson of the House Committee on Accounts during the 17th Congress, reminded Filipinos going to the public cemeteries or even private memorial parks to be more responsible and careful in handling and disposing of anything that they will bring with them to the final resting places of the dead.
The House leader recalled that authorities†collect tons of waste materials left behind at the public cemeteries, streets and major thoroughfares after the commemoration.
The congresswoman urged the public to take away waste products brought to the cemeteries or dispose of trash properly so that it will not find its way to the drainage system and inlets and cause massive flooding.
She also said that members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) must ensure the safety of the public from criminals.
Romualdez asked the public to be more patient in heavy traffic going to cemeteries, adding that road rage must be avoided at all times.
“The exodus to cemeteries and memorial parks will be a traffic nightmare, the people should be more relaxed despite the inconvenience to avoid any untoward incident,” she said.
The lawmaker also asked the local government units to station emergency equipment personnel in cemeteries and volunteer groups to provide assistance to distressed motorists.