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Candidates are urged to be environmentally friendly

Candidates are urged to be environmentally friendly

Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS), an environmental group based in Davao City, has asked all candidates for May elections to reduce their waste and use trees for their campaign materials.

“With the ongoing campaign national, election materials can be seen everywhere. Already there are many tarpaulins, banners advertising the campaign, and balloons and confetti at every rally. IDIS stated in a Friday statement that more of these types wastes will be added on to our current waste problems at the start of the local election on March 25.”

The group expressed concern that plastic banners used in advertising campaigns for every election do not decompose well when buried, and can release toxic materials into the atmosphere when burned.

The statement stated that this type of waste, like illegally dumped wastes under campaign materials, is always left unattended.

“The banners are generally not recyclable and do not easily break down. Although we have called their use a setback in environmental goals, campaigning has mostly ignored the problem.

IDIS believed that single-use plastics generated during the campaign cause choking of drainage, ingestion from stray animals and land and water pollution, which can have an adverse effect on human health as well as the environment.

Mark Pealver (IDIS executive director) stated that this has been an ongoing problem in every election period.

“We can see tarpaulin signs everywhere, even if they are not in the designated area. Several campaign materials are nailed through trees. He said that these materials would be unattended after the election period, adding to the waste pile at our landfill site.

He said that they are also prohibited under the law.

Section 9 of Fair Election Act of 2001 (Republic Act 9006) stipulates that campaign materials may not be displayed in common areas such as markets, plazas, and barangay centers.

Comelec Resolution 1070, dated November 17, 2020, stressed that “in any instance shall an electoral officer designate as common posters any trees, plants or shrubs on any public ground.”

IDIS has asked the poll body to ensure that all candidates follow its policies. This is in light of the many problems plaguing the city from plastic pollution, climate change, and Covid-19.

“We also urge the government agencies to promote the much-needed policy and practices that will save our environment from further destruction due to the political activities that led to the 2022 elections.”

They also urged all candidates to clean-up, win or loss, the wastes they created during the campaign period.

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