A man walks past campaign posters of candidates in Monday’s barangay elections in Quezon City.(Philippine Daily Inquirer)
EcoWaste Coalition on Sunday urged barangay (village) candidates to clean up after themselves by removing their campaign materials regardless of the polling results as the group noted that one of the common electoral and environmental offenses was the “shameless and unlawful distribution of sample ballots and propaganda handouts.”
Aileen Lucero, national coordinator of the environmental watch group, said that barangay candidates should remove their campaign posters and banners and recycle those that could be used safely.
“We ask the Commission on Elections to oblige all barangay candidates to comply with their civic duty to conduct postelection cleanups, as both winners and losers tend to forget to take down their political advertisements,” Lucero added.
The group advised voters to come to the polling precincts with a list of their chosen candidates and refuse the sample ballots being handed out.
It also appealed to them to avoid littering as they cast their votes in Monday’s barangay elections.
“Please be environmentally responsible, shun littering and commit to a truly clean democracy that our nation can be proud of,” said Tin Vergara, zero-waste campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition.
Littering is a violation of Republic Act No. 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, which, among others, prohibits the throwing or dumping of waste in public places such as streets, sidewalks, parks and waterways, EcoWaste said in a statement.
Violators shall be fined between P300 and P1,000 or render community service from one to 15 days, or both.
At the same time, the group asked local authorities and vendors to put garbage bins in the vicinity of polling places as these areas are often littered with food containers, candy wrappers, plastic and paper bags, and cigarette butts.
EcoWaste also warned against the burning and recycling of campaign materials that may contain toxic chemicals like tarpaulins made from polyvinyl chloride.
By Erika Sauler
(Philippine Daily Inquirer)