31 March 2013

EcoWaste Coalition Urges Manila Mayoral Bets to Campaign "Clean," Bare "Green" Platform

An environmental watchdog today called on the main contenders for Manila’s mayoral post not to forget about the environment as they hold their respective proclamation rallies on March 31 for former President Joseph Estrada and on April 1 for incumbent Mayor Alfredo Lim.

The EcoWaste Coalition appealed to Estrada and Lim to use their kick-off assemblies to demonstrate their commitment to Mother Earth by rolling out a “clean”campaign and by baring a “green” platform.

“As senior politicians with vast experience and influence, we urge both President Estrada and Mayor Lim to campaign clean and to ask their fellow candidates and their supporters to do the same,” said Aileen Lucero, Acting National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“By campaigning clean, we mean no littering, no nailing or hanging of posters on trees, no posting of campaign materials outside designated areas, no excessive noise and, of course, no trash talks and dirty gimmicks,” she explained.

“President Estrada and Mayor Lim, we hope, will agree that political victory should not be at the expense of our fragile environment,” she added.

In addition, the EcoWaste Coalition asked both camps to reveal their “green”electoral platforms pointing out that the public have the "right to know."

“We call upon President Estrada and Mayor Lim to disclose how they plan to address key environmental problems of common concern to Manila’s residents such as waste and sanitation,” Lucero said.

“How do they plan to resolve, for instance, the persistent garbage problem at Onyx and Zobel Roxas Sts. in San Andres or the monstrous plastic garbage in Divisoria, especially during peak shopping season ?,” she asked.

“How do they plan to improve the working and living conditions of the informal waste sector in Tondo and elsewhere who contributes to increased recycling rates and avoided disposal charges at no cost to the city government?,” she also asked.

"How do they plan to manage biodegradable discards, which constitute about half of the waste volume, from households and other major sources such as public markets and restaurants, so these are kept out of dumpsites and landfills to prevent the formation of methane?," she further asked.

The group also urged the mayoral candidates to disclose their positions on burning environment-related controversies and challenges such as the 1) proposed reclamation project off Manila Bay, 2) pollution at Pier 18 Garbage Transfer Station, 3) the toxic impact of unregulated junkshop recycling of electronic waste in San Andres and Tondo, and 4) the illegal sale of lead-tainted toys, mercury-laden cosmetics and cyanide-laced silver jewelry cleaners, particularly in Binondo, Divisoria and Quiapo.

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