By Erma Edera
Around 12 truckloads of garbage were collected by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) at Rizal Park on Wednesday, despite the marked drop in the number of individuals who celebrated the Christmas holidays in the facility.
Officials estimated that at least 15,000 people trooped to Rizal Park on December 25.
Some families who chose to visit and have picnics in Luneta on December 26 were not allowed to stay by park guards due to the amount of trash.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) South Manila office initiated the clean-up drive across Roxas Boulevard.
Environment group Ecowaste Coalition said that the mounds of trash reflect the disrespect towards the park.
“Kailan ba tayo magbabago? Ang pagkakalat ay isang masamang ugali na sumasalamin sa ating kawalang respeto at pagmamalasakit kay Inang Kalikasan at sa ating kapwa,” (Littering is a bad behavior that mirrors our disrespect and lack of concern for Mother Nature and humankind), the group said.
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada also advised the public to be responsible with their trash.
“Maging responsable sa pagtatapon ng inyong mga basura upang mapanatili ang ganda ng Maynila,” (Be responsible for disposing your trash, so we can preserve the beauty of Manila.), he said.