According to Arthur Pedro, Environment and Management Specialist 1 of Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO), everyone must take part in maintaining the surroundings clean. “It is a public responsibility to lessen wastes,” he stated.
Pedro explained that election campaigns contribute to pollution in the environment just like economic activities such as Strawberry Festival in the municipality where the event is flocked by people from different places and wastes increases. However, he noted that wastes should be a public concern.
Further, he noted that even if the election period is over, campaign materials like posters and tarpaulins are still observed in several areas.
“It is expected that most of the campaign materials ended up in the landfill areas. Campaign wastes added up to the volume of wastes while only few are recycled. Definitely, 70% to 80% went to the landfill areas,” he emphasized.
“Everyone should practice the ‘segregation at source’ habit and encourage others to do same,” he said. He reminded the use of the formula- S+4R+D+C (segregate+ reduce, reuse, recycle, and repair+ dispose+ compost) as a way of lessening the impact of pollution.
Moreover, Pedro said that campaign materials have designated areas where they are posted. However, they are seen even to places where should not be placed. Accordingly, these areas may not be seen by the garbage collectors.
On the other hand, he mentioned that campaign materials can be a source of income since the election is done and the tarpaulins and posters can already be removed from the posts. “Collected tarpaulins can be made into recycled bags while a collection of leaflets and flyers added with other used paper could be sold though in low cost.”
Further, he illustrated that leaflets and flyers that are biodegradable can be added into backyard compost, instead of having them directly thrown into the garbage. “These are few but important tips to make campaign materials useful even after when the election is done rather than directing them into the landfills,” noted Pedro.
“We appreciate the concerted efforts of agencies like the Commission on Election (COMELEC) and Local Government Unit (LGU), MENRO, and concerned barangays in cleaning the surroundings through the Operation Baklas,” added Pedro. He indicated that wastes left out and overlooked are collected by the garbage collectors.
Furthermore, Pedro stated that political parties are the primarily ones responsible for removing and collecting the tarpaulins and posters as well as cleaning the designated areas where they have posted. However, he stressed, “people should not leave all the responsibility to the political parties nor to the street sweepers and garbage collectors to clean littered materials. “Peoples’ counterpart to clean the surroundings is publicly solicited. It is everybody’s accountability to at least help lessen wastes,” he said.
“If we have received leaflets or flyers and have brought them, we have helped other members of our family made a wise choice during the election. That’s how essential little efforts are-we make values out from the leaflets and flyers and not totally see and take them as wastes,” said Ronnel Pontino, Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science (BSES 3) student.
Rose Dagupen D.