An environmental watchdog has aired a plea for ecological responsibility among candidates and their supporters who will be rushing to the offices of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to file their Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) for the May 13, 2013 polls.
The EcoWaste Coalition, which has initiated waste prevention and reduction efforts during the 2004, 2007 and 2010 elections, requested politicians to moderate their garbage and keep the vicinities of COMELEC offices clean and without litter as they file their COCs from October 1 to 5.
“We request all well-meaning politicians and their supporters to cooperate in keeping the COMELEC grounds litter-free,” stated Von Hernandez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition, an independent environmental network promoting zero waste and chemical safety.
“Please don’t be a ‘garpol’ as if Mother Earth is not suffering enough from our wastefulness,” he said.
“Garpol” is a wordplay of “garbage” and “politician,” or a politico who has no authentic concern for the environment and is fixated with the outmoded, climate unfriendly “tapon-hakot-tambak-sunog” (throw-collect-dump-burn) approach to managing discards.
The EcoWaste Coalition’s plea for zero waste coincided with the “Global Day of Action against Waste and Incineration,” which is observed on September 30.
As per COMELEC Resolution 9518, senatorial candidates should file their COCs at the COMELEC headquarters in Intramuros, Manila, while congressional and local candidates should filed their COCs at the municipal, provincial or regional offices of the COMELEC.
Candidates for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) should file their COCs at the COMELEC’s provincial and regional offices in the area.
“The filing of COCs should be low-key and simple as much as possible. In fact, we see no reason for candidates and their political groups to distribute leaflets, go on motorcade or march with their families, friends and followers in tow at this very early stage of the electoral exercise,” Hernandez emphasized.
“Enlightened voters will not be pleased to see obsessive candidates holding wasteful gatherings and parades, creating trash and chaotic traffic, as if they have already won the trust of the electorate,” he added.
The EcoWaste Coalition, as in past elections, will provide the public with guidelines on how to identify and select “green” candidates, and will actively promote waste prevention and reduction before, during and after the campaign period.
The COMELEC through its spokesperson Atty. James Jimenez had earlier appealed to candidates to avoid “extravagant gimmicks” and to keep their followers “in check” to ensure a peaceful filing of COCs during the designated period.