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Nation

Flood-weary Pampanga folk launch 'ALANG PLASTIKan'

- Ding Cervantes -

SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Philippines – “ALANG PLASTIKan,” especially on All Saints’ Day.

This is now the battlecry of flood-weary Kapampangans who have seen how plastic garbage significantly contributed to unprecedented flooding in the aftermath of tropical storm “Ondoy” in Metro Manila.

It’s also the objective of the newly formed ALANG PLASTIKan Coalition spearheaded by Outstanding Kapampangan awardee Andy Alviz, among other prominent Kapampangans, who fear that while Pampanga is naturally flood-prone due to its low elevation, unbridled use of plastic could worsen the impact of natural calamities.

“Plastic garbage worsened the disaster spawned by the floods triggered by storm Ondoy in Metro Manila last September. (They) clogged waterways, blocking deadly floodwaters from heading out to the bay and subsiding to safe levels. In the aftermath, the images left to warn us of future hazards were plastic (bags) that draped trees or that formed big mounds on streets,” Alviz said in his invitation to the local media for a press conference on the coalition’s launch.

Alviz said, “We do not want the same disaster to happen in Pampanga even as it is already prone to major floods.”

He said Pampanga is already vulnerable to flooding “because of its being in the middle of the Central Luzon basin where at least 30 river systems in Tarlac, Nueva Ecija and Bulacan drain to the Pampanga River before finally spilling out into the Manila Bay.”

“Areas along the mouth of the bay or delta are sinking, while lahar spewed by Mt. Pinatubo’s 1991 eruption continues to silt rivers and drainages, downgrading the efficiency levels of drainage improvement projects,” he said.

Alviz added: “Seeking to prevent an Ondoy-like disaster in Pampanga, we have initiated a no-to-plastics campaign in the province.”

Appealing for public support for the ALANG PLASTIKan Coalition, Alviz cited “two immediate calls for action” starting on Nov. 1, All Saints’ Day.

“By way of honoring the dead and preserving life, do not bring disposable plastics and Styrofoam in cemeteries during the observance of the Undas. Let this occasion be the start of reducing and eliminating plastics in our homes, schools, offices and communities,” he said.

Alviz said the coalition is also urging the public to use denim or maong tote bags to carry items bought in markets or malls and to minimize the use of plastic bags.

He urged his cabalen to donate old denim pants to be sewn and reused into tote bags. Drop-off points are at Maligaya 168 in Dolores and CLTV 36 in JASA this city, and the Holy Rosary Parish office and Romac building in Angeles City. 

He said people can make their own denim tote bags and that the coalition will give out a how-to-do-it illustrated guide.

ALL SAINTS

ALVIZ

ANDY ALVIZ

ANGELES CITY

CENTRAL LUZON

HOLY ROSARY PARISH

METRO MANILA

ONDOY

PAMPANGA

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