30 October 2022, Quezon City. As families and friends start visiting the tombs of their dearly departed, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and pro-environment group EcoWaste Coalition jointly sought public cooperation in making the cemeteries trash-free.
In a common statement, Mayor Belmonte emphasized the importance of ensuring the cleanliness of the surroundings “for the health, safety and convenience” of all cemetery visitors.
“We appeal to the general public to keep the cemetery environment free of litter for the health, safety and convenience of everyone. Keeping our cemeteries litter-free is not only pleasing to the eye, but also a good way to show our awareness and responsibility towards the environment,” she said.
“In line with our thrust of building a livable, green and sustainable city, we join the EcoWaste Coalition in urging residents, as well as non-residents, to remember our faithful departed in a manner that is ecological and waste-free,” she added.
The Quezon City-based EcoWaste Coalition had earlier urged cemetery visitors and vendors not to trash Undas and embrace B.T.S. (Bawal magTapon sa Sementeryo) instead for a healthier and safer remembrance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
“Like Mayor Belmonte, we seek the earnest cooperation of our citizens from near and afar who will be visiting the many cemeteries, memorial parks and columbaria in Quezon City to pay homage to their departed loved ones without sullying and harming the environment with litter,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, stressing “littering is an environmental offense forbidden by Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, as well as the Quezon City Environment Code.”
Food leftovers and wrappers, plastic bags, bottles, cups and other single-use disposable plastics, soiled paper, and cigarette butts are among the most littered items during crowded celebrations like Undas, the group said.
Located in Quezon City are public and private burial sites such as the Bagbag Public Cemetery, Novaliches Public Cemetery, Himlayang Pilipino Memorial Park, Holy Cross Memorial Park, and the Recuerdo Memorial Gardens.
The city is also home to several columbaria, including the Aeternitas Chapels and Columbarium, Ascension Columbary and Chapels, Christ the King Columbary, Elysium Gardens Columbarium, Garden of the Divine Word Columbarium, Mount Carmel Shrine Columbarium, Sanctuarium, Santuario de Santo Domingo, St. Peter Parish and Shrine Columbarium, St. Vincent Columbary, and The Columbary, to name a few.