Think green during campaign, LP, UNA asked

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Environmental watch group Ecowaste Coalition has reminded the two major political parties to be green-minded as they hold their respective proclamation rallies in Manila and Cebu province.

According to Ecowaste, it would watch closely the Feb. 12 proclamation rallies of the Liberal Party (LP) and United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) as it challenged them to show their concern for the environment throughout the campaign period.

In separate letters addressed to President Benigno Aquino III, LP campaign manager Senator Franklin Drilon, Vice President and UNA secretary general Jejomar Binay as well as UNA campaign manager Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco, Ecowaste president Von Hernandez urged them to think green.

Hernandez said: “We challenge both parties to set the standard for clean and eco-friendly political campaigns in their sorties throughout the archipelago, and to avoid exacerbating our environmental problems with their campaign garbage and polluting political paraphernalia.”

He explained that a campaign with “zero garbage” translated into good governance, saying that “by purposely preventing and reducing their campaign garbage, political parties [would] be making a positive difference toward protecting and preserving our fragile environment.”

According to him, Ecowaste’s “Zero Basura Patrol”

will be deployed to Team PNoy’s proclamation rally at Plaza Miranda in Manila while Cebu-based Philippine Earth Justice Center will observe the UNA rally to be held at the Maritima Heritage Grounds near Cebu City hall.

The environmental watchdog challenged both the LP and  UNA to abide by the requirements of the Ecological Solid Waste Management as well as the Fair Elections Act in their respective campaign sorties for the next three months. Among the activities that the parties and their supporters should avoid, the group said, were throwing confetti, exploding firecrackers and fireworks, as well as releasing balloons and sky lanterns which pose health, environmental and safety concerns.

Ecowaste also urged the rival parties to use recyclable and environment-friendly campaign materials and to post these only in designated common poster areas.

“Aside from simply complying with these existing laws, we are also challenging both parties to draw up a clear and meaningful environmental agenda as part of their respective electoral platforms. This will give the voting public the opportunity to elect leaders who are truly invested in securing a green and sustainable future for this country,” Hernandez said.

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