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12 truckloads of trash collected after Traslacion

Despite repeated appeals for a “trash-less” Traslacion, millions of devotees who joined Monday’s Black Nazarene procession left a dozen truckloads of trash, a city hall official said yesterday.

The official said the trash collected this year doubled last year’s garbage during the 24-hour watch of the city’s street sweepers.

Che Borromeo, head of Task Force Manila Cleanup leading the post-Traslacion cleanup, said city hall workers collected a total of 12 truckloads of waste or 69.43 tons of garbage starting Monday until 9:30 a.m. yesterday.

During the same 24-hour period last year, they collected a total of 34.86 tons of garbage only.

“Piles of rubbish dotted our streets. We have so far collected 12 truckloads of garbage since yesterday morning until 9:30 a.m. this (Tuesday) morning,” the city hall official said.

The garbage collected were mostly plastic water bottles, plastic food containers and utensils, plastic cups, cigarette butts, wrappers, plastic bags, newspapers, and carton boxes.

Since Saturday, January 7, up to Tuesday morning, the Task Force had collected a total of 65 truckloads of garbage or 341.29 tons, as compared to last year’s 172.29 tons, Borromeo said.

This proved that the city government’s appeal to devotees to be mindful of their waste when attending the religious event was unheard.

The city government, however, anticipated the garbage the procession would leave, prompting officials to deploy a battalion of street sweepers from the city’s Department of Public Services (DPS) and Task Force Manila Cleanup to ensure that the procession route is immediately cleaned up.

Estrada, however, was still grateful that the procession of the Black Nazarene ended peacefully and considered it “God’s Miracle”.

“It’s a God’s miracle that no one was seriously hurt, no one died. No matter how excellent our preparations are, it is God’s doing that we’re able to hold the Traslacion safely and peacefully,” Estrada said.

Although the Traslacion did not meet the target arrival – before midnight – as it lasted for 22 hours, almost the same as last year’s time, there was no recorded casualty.

Estrada also hailed the preparations done by the local government and the police to ensure the peaceful execution of this year’s Traslacion.

He ssaid the Traslacion had been the subject of meetings in the city since July.

“We’ve been preparing for Traslacion as early as July and I can say this is the product of their hard work and cooperation. Definitely, we will make more improvements next year so we can achieve ‘zero casualty’ again,” Estrada said. (Betheena Kae Unite)