DEVOTEES and revelers alike have been advised to practice responsible garbage disposal and refrain from purchasing products in single-use bottles during the Sinulog Festival on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024.
John Ray Kyamko, supervising environmental management specialist of the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) 7, emphasized the importance of reducing the amount of waste generated during big events like the Sinulog Grand Parade and Grand Ritual Festival as well as Fiesta Señor-related activities.
“It is really festive now, and I know that many people will attend mass, participate in processions, and join the Sinulog Grand Parade. My only concern is that we should minimize our trash,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.
The Sinulog Festival observed annually on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City, stands as the focal point of Sto. Niño celebrations in the Philippines, blending cultural and religious elements.
Kyamko, speaking during an interview at Kapihan sa PIA last Wednesday, Jan. 17, said the public should avoid buying drinks packaged in PET or polyethylene terephthalate bottles.
He instead advocated the use of reusable water containers.
While recognizing that some prefer buying readily available cold water from ambulant vendors, Kyamko stressed the importance of proper disposal after use.
“During festivals, we know that people will produce a lot of garbage; we cannot deny. But what we urge is that these trash will be disposed of properly so that they will not reach our rivers,” he said.
In a Facebook post on Jan. 16, EMB 7 reported a total of 181.4 tons of garbage collected during Sinulog 2023, an increase of 44.54 tons from 2022, which only collected 136.86 tons of garbage.
Kyamko hoped the public would heed his call, especially since January is Zero Waste Month.
Zero Waste Month was officially established in 2014 through Presidential Proclamation 760, signed by the late President Benigno Aquino III.
The proclamation aims to guide individuals in adopting lifestyles that mirror sustainable natural cycles, transforming discarded materials into valuable resources for others.
This year’s Zero Waste Month theme is “Sustainable Waste Management in Livable Communities: Zero Waste to Philippine Waters by 2040.”