EcoWaste Coalition Airs Last-Minute Appeal for a Clean Miting de Avance

The pollution watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition called on all national and local candidates to wrap up their respective electoral campaigns in an eco-friendly, garbage-free manner.

The group’s last-minute appeal against littering coincides with the various miting de avance scheduled today to cap off a grueling campaign season. The rallies, especially those of leading presidential and vice presidential contenders, are expected to draw massive crowds.

“As citizens gather en masse to show support for their chosen candidates, we urge them not to leave any trash behind,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, stressing “organizers will need to take concrete steps to minimize, if not stop, littering in meeting sites.”

The group particularly asked the May 7 miting de avance organizers of candidates Marcos-Duterte in Parañaque City, Robredo-Pangilinan in Makati City, Domagoso-Ong in Manila City, and Pacquiao-Atienza in General Santos City to keep their events litter-free as much as possible. The Lacson-Sotto team held their final rally yesterday in Carmona, Cavite.

Huge public assemblies often leave a horrendous amount of garbage, including scattered campaign leaflets, sample ballots, disposable beverage and food containers, food waste, cigarette butts and used face masks, observed the EcoWaste Coalition.

To minimize waste and pollution in  miting de avance sites, the EcoWaste Coalition urged organizers to consider the following suggestions:
  • Request supporters to bring their own food and water in reusable containers to avoid consuming food and water in single-use disposable packaging.
  • Remind supporters through the public address system not to throw litter on the ground, and to pick up trash before heading home.
  • Refrain from setting off firecrackers and fireworks, throwing confetti, and releasing balloons to conclude the event.
  • Organize volunteers to clean up right after the gathering.
In line with a recent advisory issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the group also exhorted local government units (LGUs) to ensure that environmental laws and ordinances are enforced during today's rallies.

The advisory released last May 2 and signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo Año reminded all LGUs to strictly enforce the pertinent provisions of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, which lists littering, open dumping and open burning among the prohibited and punishable acts.

The DILG told LGUs to “impose the responsibility to the organizers of political activities, to ensure that wastes generated by their activities, and its attendees will be properly managed, and disposed of.”