A waste and pollution watchdog advised politicos not to add to the post-election street clutter and garbage with unnecessary “thank you” billboards, banners and posters.
The EcoWaste Coalition implored all politicians to be environmentally-sensitive amid growing complaints against the wastefulness of the last electoral exercise and the politicians' lack of initiative to lead or join the clean up drive.
“We appeal to all politicos to please resist the temptation of putting up ‘thank you’ tarpaulins that can only add to post-election garbage woes,” said Manny Calonzo of the EcoWaste Coalition.
“Please understand that we have yet to clear the streets of campaign materials used in the last election and here you are aggravating the mess with a new wave of tarpaulins,” he said.
For example, the EcoWaste Coalition cited the busy streets of Arnaiz, C. Jose, F. B. Harrison and Zamora in Pasay City and their adjacent streets which remain plastered with campaign materials as of today, May 16.
“They surely can express their gratitude by going out of the streets and leading community 'bayanihan' to remove and recycle unsightly campaign materials,” Calonzo said.
"Above all, the most meaningful 'thank you' that politicians can make is to offer the people a real honest-to-goodness public service minus self-aggrandizement and corruption," he pointed out.
EcoWaste Coalition volunteers have monitored the sprouting of “thank you” messages that are usually placed in major hubs and thoroughfares and in pedestrian overpasses and footbridges.
Reports reaching the Secretariat of the environmental network show that “thank you” tarpaulins have been spotted in various parts of the metropolis such as in España Blvd., Lacson Ave., Ongpin St., Roxas Blvd. and Plaza Miranda in Manila, Quezon Memorial Circle, E. Rodriguez Ave. and Commonwealth Ave. in Quezon City, 9 de Febrero St.and Martinez St. in Mandaluyong City, and SLEX, Parañaque City.
While saying “thank you” is part of our national culture, the EcoWaste Coalition believes that it can be done differently without causing environmental degradation, including visual pollution, from ubiquitous tarpaulins.
For instance, grateful politicos can thank their constituents – using their personal or party funds – by organizing feeding programs for street children, the elderly and the indigents, while also stressing that Styropor food containers should be avoided as these will also add to the garbage problem.
Another option is to donate funds meant to print and install tarpaulin announcements to support charitable causes such as the children cancer ward of the Philippine General Hospital, or to help victims of the devastating fires that left thousands of families in Barangay Damayang Lagi in Quezon City and Barangay Cupang in Muntinlupa City homeless.
“We hope that politicians will stop the wasteful practice of putting up tarpaulin announcements to thank their supporters or to greet their constituents for every imaginable occasion as tarpaulins do not really make people and Mother Earth happy,” Calonzo said.
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