The election season in the Philippines has definitely contributed to the waste problem in the country.
Even prior to the official start of the campaign period, some incumbent politicians seeking reelection, veterans seeking a comeback and rookies seeking political power had posted tarps or installed gargantuan billboards with their humongous images along major thoroughfares. When the official period kicked in, new materials came in with their faces, including their number on ballots and positions they were running for.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently directed local government units to clean up the election garbage, while local election officials urged politicians and their supporters to pull down their campaign rubbish. They should be heeded.
Politicians’ posters and tarps posted everywhere have always been sore to the eyes; they have always been rubbish during pre-election, election and post-election periods.
A nongovernmental organization in Mandaue City has made a laudable move—collecting tarps to turn them into school bags. Its move has turned the eyesore to something good to see.
Kaabag Mandaue Foundation has initiated its program “Tarps to School Bags” with help from other groups, including the personnel of the Mandaue City College Technological Entrepreneurial Skills Training Center who made the sample bags.
Kabaag has received tarps from politicians and political parties, and the foundation’s president Karla Victoria Cortes has said she’s grateful for the support.
The bags will be given to schoolchildren whose parents cannot afford to buy new ones.
Local government units (LGUs) could perhaps replicate Kabaag Foundation’s initiative as they have the manpower and resources. The DILG could also direct LGUs to copy Kaabag’s move.
In the incoming new Congress, lawmakers should consider a complete ban on campaign posters, tarps and billboards for the sake of the environment; however, eradicating physical election materials is a long shot, considering Congress is dominated by traditional politicians who love medieval ways of campaigning.
The legislature could perhaps pass a law mandating candidates in the future to recycle their election rubbish for something good.
May 18, 2022
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