By Hanah Tabios
Armed with their brooms and dustpans, city street sweepers of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) are hot on the trail of the “Traslacion” to clear the garbage of trash that would be left behind by the devotees of the Black Nazarene.
Positioned at the tail-end of the procession, sweepers clear the procession route by eliminating primarily the garbage dumped on the streets by devotees as soon as the ‘andas’ or the carriage of the 17th century image of the Black Nazarene passes by.
The most common waste materials discarded so far were plastic bottles, food containers, carton boxes, cigarette butts, t-shirts, and towels among others.
“Pakiusap lang po na kapag may mga basura po kayong naiiwan, sana po naman ayusin po at ilagay sa tamang lalagyan (We asked devotees to kindly dispose their wastes properly.
Put it on the right container),” said Metro Aide Nelly Elarog.
Apart from the personnel deployed by the MMDA, sweepers from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Manila City Local Government Unit (LGU) Department of Public Service (DPS), and even private individuals including children were also present at the procession to clean up the streets.
Earlier, advocacy group EcoWaste Coalition appealed for a ‘trash-less’ Traslacion.
Last year, the MMDA collected a total of 385 tons of mixed garbage which was 11 percent more than the collected mounds of trash in 2017.