Instead of the usual festivities to commemorate its founding anniversary on Friday, the local government of Shariff Aguak in Maguindanao held a cleanup drive around town instead.
Anwar Emblawa, secretary to the mayor, said the cleanup drive was led by Mayor Marop Ampatuan himself to emphasize the need to clean the surroundings due to the continuing threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Decency would dictate that having lavish celebrations during this time of the pandemic is inappropriate,” Emblawa said in a phone interview.
Armed with brooms, rakes, and shovels, Ampatuan, accompanied by other local officials, police, and soldiers, as well as all stakeholders in town, tidied up thoroughfares and other public areas, including the public market and bus terminal.
Dozens of sacks of plastics, empty water bottles, and pieces of cellophane were collected by the “cleaners”, who also included sidewalk vendors, tricycle drivers, and ordinary folks.
Emblawa assured that the cleanup drive participants, who wore face masks, face shields, and hand gloves, observed safe physical distancing. (PNA)