15 October 2010

EcoWaste Coalition Asks Candidates to Show Mercy to Helpless Trees




Quezon City. An environmental organization has appealed to candidates of the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls to spare trees of all types of campaign materials.

The EcoWaste Coalition, which is promoting a Mother Earth-friendly electoral exercise, issued the appeal with urgency as the grassroots political fever heats up.

“Please show mercy to our life-sustaining trees and spare them of posters, banners and other materials meant to woo voters,” pleaded Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

“We urge all candidates and their supporters to demonstrate ecological responsibility by ensuring that their campaign gimmicks do not in any way harm the trees and degrade the environment,” he added.

“Let not the nine-day campaign period be an occasion to violate the trees and our Mother Earth as a whole. Instead, let it be an occasion to show our connection and respect for all the gifts of creation,” he pointed out.

Alvarez, an avid tree lover, explained that trees clean and supply humans and animals with breathable air, store water and prevent soil erosion and floods, serve as homes for other living organisms and provide food, medicine, paper, shade and other essential needs.

The nailing of campaign materials could stress out and inflict wounds on trees and result to stunted growth and even death, he warned.

Reports reaching the EcoWaste Coalition showed that campaign materials are nailed, stapled or hanged on some trees situated along Bronce St. in Malabon City, N. Garcia St., J.P. Rizal Ave.,
Zapote St. and South Ave. in Makati City and in Pasig Line and Pedro Gil St. in Manila.

Campaign posters on trees were also spotted in some barangays in Quezon City such as in Barangay Amihan where these are nailed on narra trees, and in Barangay Quirino 2-A where these are found in some coconut, mango and star apple trees.

Campaign materials, including old ones from the May 2010 local and national elections, were also found in some trees located in the Forestry Compound, Barangay Central, also in Quezon City.

In Barangay Pinyahan, Quezon City, volunteers alerted the EcoWaste Coalition on campaign posters nailed on some trees in Malakas, Matapang, Matimpiin and Mapang-akit Streets.

The country’s elections laws forbid the posting of campaign materials on trees as well as in bridges, churches, electric posts, schools, shrines, public structures or buildings and along main roads.

Aside from political materials, the EcoWaste Coalition also lamented what seems to be a common practice to nail business advertisements on trees, particularly for "lipat-bahay," septic tank siphoning, plumbing, tutorial and other services.

"We request well-meaning poll candidates as well as enterprising citizens to voluntarily bring down their political and commercial materials that should never be nailed on trees in the first place," the EcoWaste Coalition said.

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