Erap, Alfredo Lim hit for 'trashy' proclamation rallies
MANILA, Philippines – An environmental advocacy group slammed Manila mayoral candidates Joseph "Erap" Estrada and Alfredo Lim for the "unabashed littering" during their separate proclamation rallies on Monday, March 28.
“We find the unchecked littering at public assemblies inexcusable,” stated EcoWaste Coalition coordinator Aileen Lucero in a press release on Tuesday.
Reelectionist Estrada held his rally in Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila where the group observed his orange-clad supporters leaving behind campaign leaflets, cardboard hand fans, plastic bottles, polystyrene food containers, fast food wrappers, snack packs, and fish ball sticks.
“We found Styrofoam containers for dinner given to supporters scattered all over the place,” lamented Lucero.
Lim, a former Manila mayor running under the Liberal Party, held his rally in Plaza Miranda.
Lucero said the trashing in Lim's event was "not as bad" as in Estrada's rally, but he hit the use of yellow confetti during the program's finale. Campaign materials could also be found littered all over the area.
EcoWaste Coalition reminded local candidates to keep their campaign events clean, out of respect for the electorate and the environment.
"It's not too late for well-meaning candidates to literally clean up their campaign sorties. They should use their moral influence to request their supporters to mind their garbage," said Lucero.
"The public should be constantly reminded not to drop any litter and every rally should end with a clean-up led by the candidates themselves," she suggested.
As a guide, the green group said local candidates and their campaign teams should follow "5Rs."
- Reduce trash by not littering and not using campaign materials that are barely reused or recycled.
- Refuse overspending for campaign advertisements and materials.
- Retrieve campaign paraphernalia for reusing or recycling purposes
- Respect the trees by keeping them poster-free.
- Remove election campaign materials immediately after the polling day.
The group also appealed to the Commission on Elections, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Department of the Interior and Local Government to step up their drive for election trash reduction.
The government-led drive, "Basura-Free Election 2016" requires all candidates, political parties, party list groups, and supporters to comply with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
Specifically, they are asked to clean up posters, flyers, banners, and other elections paraphernalia after campaign events and election day on May 9.
Political parties and candidates will also be told not to cut, destroy, or damage trees and plants of scenic value along public roads, plazas, parks, schools, or other public places not designated as common poster areas. – Pia Ranada/Rappler.com