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EcoWaste Coalition Makes Last-Ditch Appeal for Clean and Eco-Friendly Elections

Clean and Eco-Friendly Elections
LET MOTHER EARTH WIN: Members of the EcoWaste Coalition troop to the COMELEC Headquarters in a last-ditch effort to encourage BSKE candidates to campaign in a clean and eco-friendly manner and to ask voters to be discerning, and support pro-people and pro-environment aspirants.

Manila City/Quezon City. The EcoWaste Coalition, an advocacy group for a zero waste and toxics-free society, made a last-ditch appeal to candidates running for elective Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan posts to think of Mother Earth as they court the electorates.

As the 10-day campaign period is set to start this Thursday, the group gathered outside the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in Intramuros, Manila for a last-minute reminder to all poll aspirants to commit to a clean and eco-friendly campaign.

“Amid the triple planetary crises – climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss — we ask those aspiring to serve our communities to demonstrate their commitment to protect the environment by campaigning in a way that will not worsen the problems that our communities are facing, especially on plastic and garbage,” said Ochie Tolentino, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Candidates, in their strong drive to win, usually forget that they have a responsibility to ensure that campaign activities do not lead to the further degradation of our environment,” she noted.

Clean and Eco-Friendly Elections

“We therefore ask all candidates, as well as their supporters, to be respectful of the environment and avoid practices that squander resources, generate trash and bring about pollution that can endanger the health and well-being of their constituents,” she emphasized.

To hammer home their message, community members of the EcoWaste Coalition put up a banner that says “panalo ang bayan at kalikasan sa halalang walang basura” (the people and nature win in a no-waste election) and a globe with a message “vote for Mother Earth.” They also held mock ballot boxes and placards reminding citizens to “keep the polls clean” and “no to dirty and wasteful campaigning.”

During the short program, speakers drew attention to common practices that can put the health of the people and the ecosystems at risk such as the 1) reckless use and disposal of plastic tarpaulins laden with hazardous chemicals, 2) excessive production of campaign materials beyond what is legally allowed,3) nailing and hanging of campaign posters on trees and other forbidden spots, 4) throwing confetti, releasing balloons and lighting firecrackers in rallies, 5) littering in campaign events and during the polling day itself, 6) dumping and burning of campaign waste, and 7) failure to take down campaign materials and clean up after the elections.

No to dirty and wasteful campaigning

They also put forward some reminders to make the campaign less stressful for Mother Earth, including 1) using recyclable and non-toxic campaign materials, 2) avoiding single-use plastics, 3) practicing ecological solid waste management in campaign events, 4) zero tolerance on acts prohibited by Republic Act No. 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, such as littering, open burning and dumping, 5) finding appropriate uses for used campaign materials, and 6) conducting rapid post-campaign clean-up, win or lose.

“The eco-friendly conduct of the synchronized elections for barangay and youth leaders will surely yield tangible benefits for Mother Earth, especially if resources are judiciously used and environmental pollution is avoided, among others,” said Tolentino.

Finally, the group urged voters to be more discerning in choosing whom to support and to vote for candidates who have the heart to serve the people and the environment in words and in deeds.

EcoWaste Coalition
Let's make an eco-friendly, zero waste, and toxic-free Philippines a reality.