Garbage-free brgy polls, ‘Undas’ urged-A A +A
Sunday, October 27, 2013
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Luzon have urged the public to keep schools and cemeteries garbage-free during the barangay polls and on All Saints’ Day.
DENR officials said just like any other public holidays, the village polls scheduled on Monday and the All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day on November 1 and 2, respectively, are expected to significantly increase waste generation.
"Both occasions will undoubtedly have a festive atmosphere, with a lot of waste from campaign materials, food containers and the like," the officials said in a statement. "We remind Filipinos to be more creative with their needs and use materials that are reusable or recyclable so that we generate less solid waste."
DENR officials also said the easiest thing to remember about reducing waste is to use reusable or recyclable materials or containers especially when packing food and drinks, and to take time to throw trash in bins coded to segregate them accordingly.
An estimated 30,000 tons of garbage is generated in the country every day, and the volume shoots up during public events.
Governors and mayors were urged to ensure that candidates observe a litter-free election and oversee the cleanup operations in schools and other polling precincts immediately after the polls.
Local government units were also reminded of their "primary task" of enforcing the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. Under the law, a person caught littering could be fined from P300 to P1,000 or render community service.
At the same time, voters were encouraged to "watch out for candidates who opt for an environment-friendly campaign and who will assist in cleanup activities afterwards, as these are good signs that they will make good on their duty to keep the community clean and green."
Immediate cleanup activities after the elections would prevent trash from clogging waterways and cause floods during rains, said the DENR.
Candidates were also urged to revisit the joint memorandum circular issued by the agency, Commission on Elections and the Department of the Interior and Local Government for the national and local elections held last May.
The circular was issued to make sure that local officials, political parties, party-list organizations, candidates, and their supporters would adhere to the provisions of RA 9003 during the campaign period.
For the succeeding "Undas" long weekend, where Filipinos are expected to troop to cemeteries to commemorate their departed loved ones, DENR officials gave the following tips to make the occasion garbage-free:
* Abide by local ordinances regarding the use of plastic bags
* Reduce waste by bringing only sufficient amount of food
* Use fresh flowers and small potted plants
* Lessen air pollution by ensuring that vehicles are well-maintained, observing carpooling, or using public transportation.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on October 28, 2013.