A waste and pollution watch group urged national and local candidates campaigning in Quezon City for the 2019 mid-term polls to follow a local ordinance that will help in reducing the volume of plastic waste during the campaign period.
In a press statement, the EcoWaste Coalition exhorted concerned parties and individuals to abide by SP N0. 2202, series of 2013, “prohibiting polyethylene plastic advertisement and propaganda materials within the territorial jurisdiction of Quezon City.”
“We urge all parties and candidates campaigning in Quezon City to conform with the said ordinance. Full compliance will contribute to reducing the volume of plastic campaign litter polluting the environment,” stated Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
Violators of SP 2202 shall be meted the following fines: notice of violation for the first offense; a fine of P3,000 and three-day community service for second offense; and a fine of P5,000 fine and a three-day community service for third offense.
Any firm or corporation caught selling, transporting or in possession of propaganda materials for use or installation in Quezon City shall face a fine of P3,000 up to P5,000 and revocation of mayor’s permit to operate.
“While the prohibition is restricted to polyethylene plastic materials, we appeal to everyone to limit their use of polyvinyl plastic election tarpaulins as these may contain cadmium and other hazardous chemicals that pose risks to human health and the environment,” Dizon pointed out.
Adhering to the requirements of SP 2202, the group said, will be in line with COMELEC Resolution 10488, which provides for the rules and regulations implementing Republic Act 9006, or the Fair Election Act, in connection with the May 13, 2019 elections.
“In local government units where local legislation governing the use of plastic and other similar materials exist, parties and candidates shall comply with the same,” the resolution from the poll body said.
“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,” it further said.
Meanwhile, the EcoWaste Coalition renewed its call on all parties and candidates not to put campaign materials in places not allowed by COMELEC Resolution 10488.
The group particularly assailed the tacking or nailing of campaign materials on trees as this could harm and make trees vulnerable to decay-causing micro-organisms, bad insects, and diseases causing, which can lead to stunted growth, shorter lifespan and premature death.
Republic Act 3571, as amended by Presidential Decree 953, prohibits the “cutting, destroying or injuring of planted or growing trees, flowering plants and shrubs or plants of scenic value along public roads, in plazas, parks, school premises or in any other public ground.”