As the official campaign period for the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls comes to a halt tomorrow, a waste and pollution watch group challenged all candidates to now switch to the clean-up mode.
In a bid to promote ecological clean-up of the nine-day campaign mess, the EcoWaste Coalition dared Barangay and SK candidates poll candidates to, win or lose, clear their respective communities of campaign posters as soon as the vote counting is over.
“As the grueling campaign has finally concluded, we ask all candidates to change gears and plan for the ecological clean-up of posters and other propaganda materials in their neighborhoods. Regardless of the poll results, please shift to the clean-up mode,” said Daniel Alejandre, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Voluntarily removing all remnants of the campaign frenzy is a nice way of expressing magnanimity in victory, as well as graciousness in defeat,” he said.
“We hope poll candidates and their supporters will exert the same effort, time and resources they have invested during the campaign period for post-election ecological cleanup and recycling activities on May 15," he added.
The EcoWaste Coalition emphasized that such activities should be undertaken in an eco-friendly manner that will not pose hazards to community health and the environment.
To minimize such hazards, the group emphasized the need for the candidates and their supporters to be mindful of acts prohibited under key environmental laws such as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act.
"Dumping campaign discards on streets, vacant lots, storm drains and water bodies, or setting them on fire are forbidden by our laws to protect public health and the environment," Alejandre said.
"Discarded campaign materials should be segregated, not mixed altogether, to facilitate their proper recycling or disposal," he said.
Alejandre warned against the open burning of campaign materials, particularly those made out of chlorinated compounds such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic tarpaulins.
"Aside from particle pollution, the open burning of trash may cause the formation and discharge of dioxins, a group of highly toxic chemicals resulting from combustion processes," he said.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, "dioxins are highly toxic and can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system, and can interfere with hormones."
The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), of which the Philippines is a state party, calls for global reduction of byproduct POPs such as dioxins and, where feasible, their ultimate elimination.
"The post-campaign clean-up should not lead to human exposure to dioxins and other environmental pollutants," the EcoWaste Coalition emphasized.
http://chm.pops.int/TheConvent ion/Overview/tabid/3351/Defaul t.aspx