08 February 2013

EcoWaste Coalition Urges Team PNoy and UNA to Commit to Clean Campaigning

Team PNoy, Team UNA told: Zero Basura is akin to good governance.

Zero waste advocates will be watching closely how the two major political camps, the Aquino-led Team PNoy and the Binay-led United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), will conduct their senatorial proclamation rallies on February 12 in Manila and in Cebu.

In separate letters sent today to President Benigno S. Aquino III and Liberal Party Campaign Manager Senator Franklin Drilon of Team PNoy, and to Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay and UNA Secretary General and Campaign Manager Congressman Tobias M. Tiangco, the EcoWaste Coalition urged both camps to demonstrate their concern for the environment when they fire their opening salvos next Tuesday.

“We challenge both parties to set the standard for clean and eco-friendly political campaigns in their sorties throughout the archipelago, and to avoid exacerbating our environmental problems with their campaign garbage and polluting political paraphernalia,” said Von Hernandez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

“We ask politicians to conduct their campaign activities - in a 'Zero Basura' way – which, in our view translates to good governance. By purposely preventing and reducing their campaign garbage, political parties will be making a positive difference towards protecting and preserving our fragile environment,” he said.

The Quezon City-based EcoWaste Coalition plans to deploy its “Zero Basura Patrol” to monitor the conduct of Team PNoy’s proclamation event at the historic Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila, while its Cebu-based affiliate, the Philippine Earth Justice Center, will observe UNA’s event slated to be held at the Maritima Heritage grounds near the Cebu City Hall.

The EcoWaste Coalition also challenged Team PNoy and UNA to faithfully abide by the requirements of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and Republic Act 9006, or the Fair Election Act.

According to the EWC, Team PNoy and UNA must ensure that their proclamation rallies and subsequent campaign sorties in the next three months are fully compliant with R.A. 9003’s ban against littering, open burning and open dumping. The coalition also asked Team PNoy and UNA and their supporters to desist from throwing confetti, exploding firecrackers and fireworks and from releasing balloons and sky lanterns for health, environmental and safety concerns.

With respect to R.A. 9006, Team PNoy and UNA should stick to lawful and ecological election propaganda as elaborated in Comelec Resolution 9615, where “parties and candidates are 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,” the EcoWaste Coalition noted.

The waste watchdog likewise reminded Team PNoy and UNA not to post their campaign materials outside of designated common poster areas, and never on trees, flowering plants, shrubs and other forbidden places as per Comelec Resolution 9615.

"Aside from simply complying with these existing laws , we are also challenging both parties to draw up a clear and meaningful environmental agenda as part of their respective electoral platforms . This will give the voting public the opportunity to elect leaders who are truly invested in securing a green and sustainable future for this country." Hernandez added.

The EcoWaste Coalition, together with Greenpeace and other allies, will be conducting Green Electoral Initiative (GEI) around the theme “Berde ka ba?” which aims to encourage political coalitions and parties to develop their green platforms and identify environmental champions from their senatorial line-up.

The EcoWaste Coalition is a national network of more than 150 public interest groups pursuing sustainable and just solutions to waste, climate change and chemical issues towards the envisioned Zero Waste 2020 goal.


No comments: