Seven consecutive years of promoting environmental protection through recycling in cemeteries during the observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days has drawn the attention of the local media into Tzu Chi Foundation’s advocacy.
In Manila North Cemetery, several news agencies featured the Tzu Chi volunteers’ recycling efforts, which began on October 29 and ended on November 3. A total of 1, 715 volunteers were mobilized throughout the activity.
Joy Gumatay, a reporter from the People’s Television Network, Inc. (PTV), said Tzu Chi’s campaign is praiseworthy.
“When people come together in one place, trash becomes the biggest problem so it’s a big effort that there is a foundation that encourages people to practice Solid Waste Management because even though it’s only for one or two days, it leaves a big impact in the environment,” Gumatay said.
PTV is the flagship government television network owned by the Philippine government.
Tzu Chi volunteer Lilia Zarate is happy about the interest that the media demonstrate toward their recycling effort.
“Members of the media said that in every cemetery they have been to, all they could see are Tzu Chi volunteers and that there is no other foundation practicing recycling in the cemeteries at this time of the year. We told them that it’s because we are serious about our advocacy. We really want to avoid the possibility of Mother Nature taking her revenge through disasters,” the volunteer from Barangay Nangka in Marikina City said.
For this year, Tzu Chi’s recycling volunteers covered nine cemeteries namely Loyola Memorial Parks in Marikina City and Parañaque City, Manila North and South Cemeteries in Manila, Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City, Holy Cross Memorial Park in Quezon City, Manila Chinese Cemetery in Manila, Paraiso Memorial Park in San Mateo, Rizal, and Himlayang Pilipino in Quezon City.
Tzu Chi’s annual presence in the cemeteries has earned the support of institutions like GMA 7, one of the biggest TV channels in the country.
Every year, GMA 7 set up a booth by the entrance of the Manila North and Manila South Cemeteries, encouraging those who came to visit their departed loved ones to donate their empty plastic bottles in exchange of simple raffle prizes like fans, candies, t-shirts, among others.
Every year, the said booth manages to collect around 7,000 to 8,000 plastic bottles from the two cemeteries. They donate these plastic bottles to Tzu Chi Foundation.
Tzu Chi volunteer Adelaida Flores is humbled by the trust that the said media agency has been showing Tzu Chi since this program started.
“[GMA’s booth] is among the first to help us in our program here. It’s a big help because instead of us picking up these plastic bottles from the ground, they have been gathered in a garbage bag already and the plastic bottles have been sorted already. The number is a lot as well,” she said.
Marlvin Consignado, the team head of GMA 7’s Unang Hirit show, said “We did our research about the possible groups that could help and we found out Tzu Chi is collecting plastic bottles for their charity works. The bottles that are being donated to them are turned into blankets.”
“This partnership is really helpful because we don’t see plastic bottles discarded everywhere anymore and we know that they go to a good cause instead,” he added.
Reporters from Radyo Inquirer do a live interview with a Tzu Chi volunteer about the latter’s recycling activity in Manila North Cemetery throughout the observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
News crew from People’s Television Network, Inc. (PTV), interview Tzu Chi volunteer Lilia Zarate about Tzu Chi’s environmental protection program in cemeteries every year. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Tzu Chi volunteer Lilia Zarate explains to People’s Television Network, Inc. (PTV) reporter Joy Gumatay how they are raising awareness about recycling through the displays on their booth.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
ABS-CBN news reporter Niko Baua do an interview with Tzu Chi volunteer Lilia Zarate about Tzu Chi’s environmental protection campaign in the cemeteries.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
A reporter from DZMM, a news radio station, interviews a Tzu Chi volunteer, drawn by the volunteers’ recycling efforts in cemeteries every year. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Marlvin Consignado (in black shirt), the Team Head of GMA 7’s Unang Hirit show, says their recycling partnership with Tzu Chi every All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days has reduced the number of trash in cemeteries while also contributing to charity causes.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
GMA 7’s booth by the entrance of Manila North Cemetery encourages those who visit their departed loved ones to donate their recyclables. The collected empty plastic bottles are then donated to Tzu Chi. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Tzu Chi volunteers gather the empty plastic bottles from GMA 7’s booth located by the entrance of Manila North Cemetery.【Photo by Jamaica Digo】
Every year, GMA 7’s booths located near the entrance of Manila North Cemetery and Manila South Cemetery gather 7,000 to 8,000 empty plastic bottles. GMA 7 donates said plastic bottles to Tzu Chi Foundation in support of its environmental protection and charity programs. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】