MANILA, Philippines—Ahead of the official campaign season, candidates running in the May elections were once again reminded to spare the trees.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje on Wednesday urged political parties and candidates in the mid-term polls to stick to an earth-friendly campaign by minimizing the use of plastic materials and refraining from nailing or tacking posters on trees.
“Trees are also living creatures; they could get hurt or sick from infection. Worse, they could die if left untreated for a long time,” he said in a statement.
Paje also urged the candidates to use campaign paraphernalia made of locally sourced and reusable materials instead of plastics and other non-biodegradables.
The campaign period set by the Commission on Elections for senatorial and party-list group candidates begins Feb. 12, and for local elective positions, it starts March 29. All campaigning ends on May 11, two days before the May 13 polls.
“We are calling on all well-meaning candidates to be mindful of the environment when they hit the election campaign trail,” Paje said.
“They should put waste avoidance and reduction at the heart of their strategy to win in order to minimize trash and its impact on the environment and humans,” he said.
He asked the candidates to instruct their supporters not to leave trash in campaign sorties and remove their posters and banners after the polls.
“Let us change the face of Philippine politics with clean elections defined not only by an intelligent electorate, but a trash-free one as well,” Paje said.
Under the Fair Election Act, the Comelec may authorize political parties and party-list groups to erect common poster areas for their candidates in not more than 10 public places such as plazas and markets, but the size shall not exceed 12 by 16 feet.
Independent candidates with no political parties, on the other hand, may also be authorized to erect common poster areas in not more than 10 public places, the size of which shall not exceed four by six feet.
Candidates may also post propaganda material in private places with the consent of the owner, and in public places, provided the space is allocated equally among the candidates.