As the political activities blaze with the start of the campaign period, EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watchdog, urged all candidates to campaign “green” no matter what their political affiliations are.
“Regardless of your official party colors - whether it's blue, red, orange, purple, white or yellow - please ‘green’ your campaign by addressing environmental issues in your electoral platforms and by campaigning in an eco-friendly way,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, a member of the newly-launched Green Thumb Coalition.
"Protecting the public health and the environment amid the global climate crisis is a necessity that should bring all aspiring political leaders together," she said.
“We particularly ask the major political coalitions and parties to bare their platforms for greening the environment and the economy, and for solving critical environmental and health issues such as chemicals and wastes,” she said.
“We have the right to know who among you will champion the people’s ‘right to a balanced and healthful ecology’ as enshrined in the Constitution,” she said.
As a chemical safety and zero waste advocacy group, the EcoWaste Coalition has a special interest in knowing how candidates intend to prevent and reduce air, water and soil pollution and protect the people’s living and working environments from chemicals and wastes.
“While some have spoken about it, we want all candidates to tell the Filipino people that our country is no dumping ground and that all means will be exhausted to ensure the return of the illegal garbage shipments from Canada to its origin,” Lucero added.
As the campaign fever heats up, the group reiterated its call for candidates to support the call made by the Commission on Elections, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the EcoWaste Coalition for "basura-free elections."
“As actions speak louder than words, please roll out a green campaign that will not add to our garbage woes,” Lucero said.
To make this happen, the group urged candidates to designate a task force within their respective campaign machineries who will take the responsibility for greening the campaign strategies and activities.
For trash-free campaign activities, the EcoWaste Coalition urged candidates to:
• Shun throwing confetti, exploding firecrackers or releasing balloons in campaign events.
• Refrain from using Styrofoam, plastic bags and other single-use containers for volunteers’ meals and drinks.
• Set up segregated waste bins in campaign assemblies.
• Tap eco-volunteers or waste pickers to handle the segregated waste bins for composting and recycling.
• Clean up right after the campaign event without dumping or burning campaign discards.
Greening the campaign is necessary to reduce the anticipated environmental costs of the massive campaign for national and local elective posts, the EcoWaste Coalition emphasized.