DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The environmental group EcoWaste Coalition has made an appeal to all candidates and political parties for the midterm elections this May to rally behind a waste-free exercise of democracy.
“We dare all political parties and candidates to incorporate ecological sustainability into their electoral platforms. We challenge them to present green solutions to the electorate that will address our nation’s problems with environmental degradation, dirty energy, and climate change, chemical, and waste including the plastic pollution crisis,” said Daniel Alejandro, Zero Waste Campaigner of Ecowaste Coalition.
The group also lamented on the wastefulness of past national and local elections with unbridled consumption of papers and plastics propaganda materials, the open burning and dumping of campaign trash, and the illegal posting of posters and banners on trees and other forbidden places.
Instead of the usual 4Gs (guns, goons, gold, garbage) of dirty politics, the group urged all politicians and their backers to embrace the 4Rs of the environmental campaign, that is: reduce, reuse, recycle, and respect of clean politics.
Ecowaste Coalition also expressed hope that candidates will include in their campaign platforms the protection of public health and the environment against waste and pollution.
They urged the poll body to remind all the candidates to comply with the local ordinances governing the use of plastic and related materials.
The group said laboratory tests have found out a high level of cadmium, a highly hazardous chemical on favorite materials used in election posters.
“Keep your campaign tarpaulins within proper limits and ensure that such materials will be taken down as soon as the polls are over,” the group asked, considering that the Philippines has no law to ban the use of cadmium-laden plastic tarpaulins.
“Politicians should tell the public where they stand with regards to burning environmental issues such as single-use plastics and plastic packaging, electronic and plastic waste importation, dumpsite closure, waste-to-energy incineration, among other concerns,” Alejandro said.
He further asked all candidates to show concern for Mother Earth by rolling out an eco-friendly campaign that will not harm and pollute the ecosystems.
The group also emphasized that political campaigns must be compliant to the country’s electoral, environmental and health laws, to include the Fair Election Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Tobacco Regulation Act. (Mary Joy G. Alferez, HCDC Intern/davaotoday.com)