Cimatu said that paying respect for the dead is not only shown by visiting them, but also by keeping their final resting place clean.

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

According to the environment chief, turning graveyards into dump sites during the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day is “a form of disrespect towards the dead.”

“The Filipino custom of honoring our deceased loved ones includes prayers, visit to the cemetery, family reunions and eating together,” Cimatu pointed out.

He added: “However, as we get-together for this annual tradition, let us also practice proper waste segregation. Separate paper, plastic, metal and tin, glass, and food wastes.”

Cimatu urged those who will troop to memorial parks and public cemeteries to bring trash bags to be used for waste segregation, and to place their food in reusable containers instead of buying food packed in plastic and aluminum foils.

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

At the same time, Cimatu reminded local government units to properly collect and dispose of trash in designated sanitary landfills after Undas.

Since he assumed office last May, Cimatu has made it clear that strict compliance with laws on clean air, clean water and solid waste was on top of his priorities. ###