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Opinion

Disgraceful

THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez - The Freeman

Rizal Park and Luneta are the Metro Manila's foremost public parks. Every year on Christmas Day, thousands enjoy the serene atmosphere, the beautiful scenery, not to mention the historical aspect of the place. It is the ideal place for the family, especially for young children. The same can be said for the Quezon Memorial Circle. Not as scenic as Rizal Park but a wonderful place for the family as well. Activities abound for the active children and adults. But as the sun sets and the day ends, what is left behind is a disgrace.

Garbage of all sorts are just left where they were discarded, with no effort at all to properly dispose of them. Food packaging, gift wrappers, water bottles, leftover food and even human waste. What was a pristine place the day before has turned into a virtual dumpsite. All are left for the clean-up crew to deal with. Hundreds of sacks of garbage are collected the very next day, a gargantuan task for the maintenance staff. While bins provided are overwhelmed, is no effort at all to properly discard the waste. How hard is it to place one's garbage into bags and properly put aside for the collectors to just pick up? Is it really the mindset of these people that it is the responsibility of others to clean up after them? That attitude even trumps those of actual millionaires who have servants at their beck and call.

In the last World Cup competition, Japanese soccer fans were seen cleaning up their area after a game. While many praised their actions, there were some who thumbed their noses and raised eyebrows, calling them "weird." Apparently, doing the right thing does not sit well with some. I lauded the efforts of the Japanese, and just dreamt we could emulate the kind of mindset they have towards cleanliness.

So if there is a New Year's resolution I would want to wish on the whole country, it is a change of attitude towards cleanliness. But as New Year's resolutions go, people would be back to their uncaring ways by the end of the week. There are cities that have strict anti-littering laws, with heavy fines for offenders. Instead of cities implementing them, why not the national government? If the government is so good at finding bullets in baggage, why not citing litterbugs that are in plain sight? This ingrained culture of just throwing stuff anywhere has to stop, and if it takes heavy fines and even jail time to do it, so be it. Wouldn't it be a refreshing change to see clean streets, sidewalks and of course, public parks?

[email protected]

CHRISTMAS DAY

CLEAN

DAY

METRO MANILA

NEW YEAR

PLACE

QUEZON MEMORIAL CIRCLE

QUOT

RIZAL PARK

RIZAL PARK AND LUNETA

WORLD CUP

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