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Let’s make this grassroots poll GREEN – PH environment and health advocates

Image © dailystarph.com

THE Philippine based environment and health watchdog EcoWaste Coalition has asked the Commission on Elections, all political contenders and the electorate to go for “a Cleaner and Greener polls.”

This developed shortly after Malacañang confirmed early this week that the synchronized barangay and youth polls will push through as planned on May 14. (Read More: http://beyonddeadlines.com/2018/03/02/tuloy-ang-halalang-pambarangay/)

The coalition, in a statement, said the poll body and all candidates gunning for barangay and youth council posts should rally behind a waste-free exercise of grassroots democracy. It added that all parties concerned must waste no time preparing for cleaner and greener polls.

Daniel Alejandre, EcoWaste Coalition waste campaigner, said “the nine-day campaign period from May 4 to 12 need not add to the swelling garbage problem facing many of our communities.”

“Instead of dirty political sorties, we request aspiring barangay and youth leaders to campaign in a clean manner that will reduce the generation of trash and prevent damage to the environment,” he added.

At the same time, Alejandre lamented the wastefulness of past national and local elections citing 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.

“We know it is a tall order but we hope to see less trash in the upcoming polls,” he said.
Nevertheless, Alejandre said the Coalition members still hope that all candidates will include the protection of public health and the environment against waste and pollution in their poll campaign platforms.

Meanwhile, to help the candidates into clean and green campaigning, the Coalition urged the COMELEC to demand the strict compliance of all parties participating in the election with local ordinances on the use of plastic and related materials. The COMELEC should also demand total conformity of the candidates and their supporters to its Resolution No. 9615, which requires political candidates to use recyclable and environment-friendly campaign materials; and avoid campaign materials that contain hazardous chemicals.

Moreover, the Coalition asked the poll body 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 Coalition, in its statement, pleaded.

Nelson Flores, J.D., MSCK
A former reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Standard Today, and a regular columnist of the Metro Manila based daily tabloid newspaper Hataw; Nelson Flores is also the former Senior Associate Editor of the Houston based Fil-Am Press and former anchor of dzXL and dzRJ's weekend talk show Usaping Bayan. Mr. Flores has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Law degrees from the University of Santo Tomas and Adamson University and a holder of a study certificate from the Diocesan House of Studies, Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI). He is a Freemason and member of Reagan Lodge 1037 in Houston Heights under the jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas and a member of the Missionary Society of Christ the King (MSCK).

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