EcoWaste Coalition Urges Barangay Election Candidates to Campaign Clean, Dare to be Green

the campaign period for the Barangay Elections draws near, the EcoWaste
Coalition, together with Miss Earth Foundation, the Commission on Elections
(COMELEC), and the Intramuros Administration, reminded today aspiring barangay
officials to campaign clean and reduce waste generation throughout the election
Through Resolution 9749, the COMELEC
specified October 18 to 26 as the campaign period for the upcoming Barangay
Elections on October 28.
“Four days before the campaign period begins,
we call on all well-meaning barangay candidates and their supporters to be
environmentally responsible and commit themselves to ‘zero waste’ election
campaigning. By ‘‘zero waste’ campaigning’, we mean conscious efforts by
would-be barangay officials and their supporters to actively eliminate garbage
and pollution during campaign sorties and public assemblies,” said Aileen
Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Please make it your winning plan to include
the effective and comprehensive implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste
Management Act of 2000 or R.A. 9003 in your platform of barangay government,”
Lucero added.
R.A. 9003 explicitly stipulates the important
role of barangays in solid waste management, such as in the prohibition on
“littering, throwing, dumping of waste matters in public places… or causing or
permitting the same”, “…collection of non-segregated or unsorted wastes,” and
“open burning of solid wastes.” Sad to say, these are acts common during and
after elections.
Through a street play in front of the COMELEC
Office in Intramuros, Manila, the EcoWaste Coalition, together with the youth
group Malikhaing Landas na Magpapayabong sa Sining at Kultura (MALAYA), engaged
the public on selecting barangay leaders who are truly for the people and the
The COMELEC also joined the environmental
advocates in urging the electorate to cast their votes in favor of barangay
candidates who followed election-related laws and regulations.
“As stated
in COMELEC Resolution No. 9615, we encourage all parties and candidates to use
recyclable and environment-friendly materials throughout the campaign period,
and avoid using campaign materials and election paraphernalia that contain
hazardous chemicals and substances,” said Mr. Leo Lim, Education and
Information Officer of the COMELEC.
would also like to remind them to comply with any local legislation governing
the use of plastic and other similar materials,” he added.
her part, Miss Philippines Water 2013, Nancy Leonard, urged local candidates to
reduce their campaign discards so as not to aggravate the country’s burgeoning
garbage problems.
“We need barangay leaders whose priorities
include environmental protection and sustainability, coupled with public health
and safety. Their service to the country, its people and its environment should
be seen even during the campaign period. Our leaders-to-be owe it to the people
a cleaner and safer environment, said Ms. Leonard.
The EcoWaste Coalition has earlier expressed
concern over political tarpaulins that have sprouted like mushrooms in many
places even before the actual campaign period.
“You can spot these tarpaulins everywhere –
in pedicabs and tricycles, in sari-sari stores, in public markets and in
residences. We fear a repeat of the avalanche of tarpaulin waste that happened
during the last national elections,” Lucero observed.
Among these acts that damage the environment
as the group observed in the May 13 national and local elections include the
excessive use of tarpaulin banners, usually made of the heavily toxic polyvinyl
chloride (PVC plastic); unchecked littering in campaign sorties; collection of
unsorted wastes; open dumping and open burning of campaign discards; and
posting of propaganda materials on trees and outside designated areas.
warned that taprs contain harmful substances, citing the results of their study
showing that of the 200 tarpaulin samples used by candidates in the May 13
elections, 51 samples (25%) have lead up to 1,704 parts per million (ppm) while
all of them (100%) contain cadmium up to 1,279 ppm.
The EcoWaste Coalition, a non-partisan zero
waste advocacy network advancing a green electoral agenda, has released the
following recommendations to help the electorate in choosing candidates for the
barangay elections who will fight for a greener and toxics-free future.
1) Do not vote for candidates who use the 5Gs to win:
Guns, Goons, Gold, Gin and Garbage.

Vote for candidates who stand for the essential Ms: Malinis (Clean), Maayos
(Orderly), Matipid (Thrifty), Mapanindigan (Principled), Marangal
(Honorable), Mapayapa (Peaceful), Makatao (Humane), Makakalikasan
(Pro-Nature) and Maka-Diyos (Godly).
2) Do not support candidates who nail,
staple, strap or plaster campaign materials on defenseless trees and other
restricted sites.
Vote for
candidates who use the least amount of campaign materials and abide by the
campaign rules.
3) Do not pick candidates who use smoke-belching
vehicles that contribute to poor air quality.
Go for
candidates who walk or ride bicycles rather than those who come in convoy of
cars. Vote for those who use fewer vehicles in motorcades and cut fuel
consumption and emissions.
4) Do not fall for candidates who make
beautiful speeches about their love for the people and the environment, but
fail to match their words with deeds
. Is she/he engaged in any
environmental advocacy or project, or does she/he have financial interest in
any polluting and environmentally destructive business?
5) Do not select candidates who profess to protect the
environment, but are mute on what they intend to do.
Vote for those who will work earnestly to heal and
preserve the environment.
6) Do not choose candidates who are
hooked to the outmoded “hakot-tambak-sunog” (haul-dump-burn) and fail to act
against illegal dumps.
Vote for
those who segregate their discards at home and in the work place, and support
ecological, low-cost and community-driven alternatives to dumps, landfills and
present to express his support is Commissioner Romeo Hidalgo, the civil society
representative to the National Solid Waste Management Commission.