By Chito Chavez
An environmental group prodded the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and all political aspirants to join hands in ensuring and preparing for cleaner and greener May 13, 2019 mid-term polls.
Quezon City based EcoWaste Coalition pressed the poll body and all candidates gunning for national and local posts to exercise their sense of patriotism and “rally behind a waste-free exercise of grassroots democracy’’.
Aileen Lucero of EcoWaste Coalition maintained the campaign period need not add to the swelling garbage problem of the country.
Instead of resorting to garbage filled and dirty political sorties, Lucero appealed to all political aspirants to campaign in an environmental friendly manner that will reduce the generation of trash and prevent damage to the ecosystem.
The group lamented the wastefulness of past national and local elections with the unbridled consumption of paper and plastic propaganda materials, the unrestrained littering in public assemblies, the open burning and dumping of campaign trash, and the illegal posting of posters and banners on trees and other forbidden places.
Acknowledging it is a tall order, Lucero hopes to see less trash in the upcoming polls.
EcoWaste Coalition also expressed its hope that all candidates will include the protection of public health and the environment against waste and pollution in their campaign platforms.
To steer the candidates into clean and green campaigning, EcoWaste Coalition urged the poll body to reiterate the use of recyclable and environment-friendly campaign materials and the avoidance of campaign materials that contain hazardous chemicals as stated in Comelec Resolution No. 9615.
The group also urged Comelec to remind candidates to comply with local ordinances governing the use of plastic and related materials.
Lucero also urged the Comelec to enjoin candidates and their backers to abide by Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, which, among other things, prohibits littering, open dumping and open burning of trash.
“We request Comelec to use its legal and moral authority to sway candidates and their supporters to campaign in an environmentally-responsible and non-toxic way as this is beneficial for our nation and people,” the EcoWaste Coalition concluded.