Antipolo City and EcoWaste Coalition: Keep Maundy Thursday Alay-Lakad Litter-Free

Antipolo City Alay-Lakad Litter-Free
Antipolo City is set to celebrate the declaration of the Antipolo Cathedral as the international shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage and the resumption of the annual penitential Youth Alay-Lakad. EcoWaste Coalition photos.

The Antipolo City Government and EcoWaste Coalition are asking residents and visitors this Holy Week Maundy Thursday to keep the penitential Alay-Lakad litter-free.

The joint appeal to the public was issued earlier today, April 4, 2023, in anticipation of the influx of pilgrims to the Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines.

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In a 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.”

The Antipolo Alay-Lakad is being held again after a three-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The city is also celebrating 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,” said Mayor Casimiro Ynares III.

“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,” added the city executive.

EcoWaste Coalition’s Jove Benosa gave a reminder for 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,” the Zero Waste Campaigner said.

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:

  1. Walk with water in a reusable container to avoid the consumption of water and sweetened drinks in disposable plastic bags and bottles.
  2. Opt to take your meals in eateries that serve food and water in reusable containers.
  3. Bring a reusable carry bag for the suman and other native delicacies that you can bring home from Antipolo.
  4. Dispose of your discards in proper bins.
  5. Refrain from smoking or vaping.

EcoWaste Coalition has been actively campaigning for zero-waste policies in religious events such as the Holy Week, the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, and the Feast of the Santo Nino in Tondo.

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