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Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has once again urged the public to keep memorial parks and public cemeteries free of trash during the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day this year.

“We can make the observance of Undas more meaningful if we keep the final resting place of our loved ones litter-free,” Cimatu said.

He reminded that showing respect for the dead also means keeping cemeteries clean.

“Let us honor our departed loved ones the proper way and that is to leave them with our prayers and not with our trash,” Cimatu said.

Cimatu also reminded local government units (LGUs) of their duty to enforce Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

“LGUs have the primary task of enforcing the provisions of RA 9003,” he pointed out.

Under the law, a person caught littering could be fined from P300 to P1,000, or render community service.

An estimated 30,000 tons of garbage is generated in the country every day, with 8,000 tons produced in Metro Manila alone. The volume shoots up during public events.

“The LGUs need to step up its implementation of RA 9003 as people continue to generate huge volume of garbage during Undas, practically turning graveyards into littering sites,” Cimatu said.

At the same time, the environment chief called on administrators of memorial parks and public cemeteries to install properly labelled garbage bins to encourage visitors to segregate their trash.

He also urged visitors to bring trash bags to be used for waste segregation, and to place their food in reusable containers instead of buying food packed on plastic and aluminum foils.

Visitors were also advised to bring their own water containers or jugs instead of buying water in plastic bottles, and to avoid using plastic utensils.

The use of banig or woven mats, and foldable tables and chairs will also limit the use of newspapers and plastic sheets for seating and eating. #