The EcoWaste Coalition, a network of non-profit groups working on waste and pollution issues, made this plea during a combined clean-up drive along Del Monte and Roosevelt Avenues with Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte, Rep. Bingbong Crisologo, the city’s Environmental Protection and Solid Waste Department and other agencies. Among the volunteers were Super WA (Walang Aksaya or Zero Waste), the EcoWaste Coalition's champ in its waste-free election drive, and 5-year-old Jacie Odiver, Little Miss Earth 2007 with her parents.
“Now that the people have spoken through the ballots, we call on all political parties, party list groups and candidates to waste no time in tidying up all the poster-plastered trees, walls and electric posts. We cannot just leave the post-campaign cleanup to our overworked street sweepers,” said Rei Panaligan, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“We ask the Commission on Elections to oblige all candidates to comply with their civic duty to conduct post-election cleanup, as both winners and losers tend to forget to take down their political advertisements,” added Panaligan.
Every group and individual who ran in the recently-concluded elections, regardless of their polling performance, should actively lead the post-election cleanup, including removing all campaign posters and banners and recycling the trash, stated the EcoWaste Coalition.
The EcoWaste Coalition reminded government cleaners and party workers not to burn or dump collected campaign materials, but to exert every effort to salvage and recycle them. Open burning and open dumping, the group pointed out, violate the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and pose serious health threats to workers and residents.
Considering the volume of campaign posters printed and used during the three-month campaign period, the EcoWaste Coalition stressed the need for multi-sectoral cooperation to clean up and restore the messy landscape, with political groups and candidates taking the lead.
It will be recalled that on February 9 the EcoWaste Coalition launched its campaign to prevent and reduce campaign trash with the support of COMELEC Commissioner Rene Sarmiento and Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.
During the last three months, the Coalition actively raised awareness and mobilized support for waste-free polls.
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