Green Election Campaign-A A +A
By Rox Peña
Friday, March 15, 2013
NO DOUBT, environment will be a hot topic during the election campaign. In fact, few weeks ago, green groups led by the EcoWaste Coalition went to the Commission on Elections to push for a green election. To attract attention, some of their members wore costumes of green (literally green in color) super heroes namely Hulk, Green Lanterns and Ben 10.
The Eco groups are urging the public to vote for candidates with Environmental Agenda. “The country’s leaders should be green superheroes--not jokers or, worse, environmental villains,” said Francis dela Cruz, spokesperson for Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “Protecting the environment should be a key national policy and a priority election concern both for the candidates as well as the voting public. Environmental protection directly translates to economic benefits for the nation as a whole, for communities and for each individual Filipino.”
I’m sure that on the local level, voters will be looking for candidates who will solve their immediate environmental concern: BASURA!!!!!!
The EcoWaste coalition conducted a chemical analysis on the tarpaulins of some senatorial candidates. The results show significant levels of heavy metals like cadmium (from 726 to 1,216 parts per million, or ppm), lead (from 108 to 1,263 and antimony (from 199 to 404 ppm). I think that those in immediate danger are the tarp makers themselves.
Comelec Resolution No. 9615 says: “Parties and candidates are hereby encouraged to use recyclable and environment-friendly materials and avoid those that contain hazardous chemicals and substances in the production of their campaign and election propaganda. In local government units where local legislation governing the use of plastic and other similar materials exist, parties and candidates shall comply with the same.”
The Comelec resolution is voluntary but in Quezon City the use of eco-friendly materials is mandatory. An ordinance was passed recently banning the use of plastic election posters and advertisements. Tarpaulins however are still allowed.
Here in Region 3, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) appealed to political parties and candidates in the May elections to take care of their garbage and avoid nailing campaign materials on trees.
DENR Secretary Ramon Paje has earlier called on political candidates to put waste avoidance and reduction at the heart of their strategy to win, and to stick to earth-friendly campaign practices to ensure a waste-free election.
Candidates who have an environmental platform should start by using eco-friendly materials and conduct their campaign in an earth-friendly manner.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 15, 2013.