Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, has called on the faithful to observe a trash-free Undas as more people are allowed to visit their departed loved ones in cemeteries this year.
“As responsible stewards of the environment, let us show our concern for this God-given gift as we remember our departed loved ones this year,” said Fr. Antonio Labiao, Jr., executive secretary of NASSA/Caritas Philippines, as part of the “Untrash Undas: Enforce B.T.S. (Bawal magTapon sa Sementeryo) Policy” by the EcoWaste Coalition.
“It is our shared responsibility to ensure that our environment, which includes us all, is protected against practices that pollute and degrade it. Let us make our cemeteries trash-free,” said Fr. Labiao.
Meanwhile, EcoWaste Zero Waste Campaigner Jove Benosa urged the faithful to be responsible by bringing their trash with them as they leave the cemetery or to dispose of their trash properly.
“We appeal to our fellow Filipinos to make this year’s observance of Undas different from the pre-pandemic celebrations, which was marred by tons of garbage left by cemetery visitors and vendors. Enforcing B.T.S. (no littering in the cemetery) and taking other practical steps to minimize other forms of environmental pollution will contribute to a cleaner and healthier commemoration of Undas,” Benosa said over Radio Verias.
In 2019, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said a total of 14 trucks of garbage were collected from the 27 cemeteries in Metro Manila following the commemoration of All Saints Day and All Souls Day.