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LGUs, candidates told to remove campaign materials in 3 days

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LGUs, candidates told to remove campaign materials in 3 days
Campaign posters, including one of Philippine presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr (2nd R), are seen in a slum area in Tondo district in Manila on May 10, 2022.
AFP / Chaideer Mahyuddin

MANILA, Philippines — Local government units and poll candidates should remove and dispose of campaign waste materials within three days, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Wednesday.

“Clean-up of election litter is the first order of business after the polls. Aside from incumbent LGU officials, we urge all candidates, winners and non-winners alike, to take it upon themselves to lead in the removal of their campaign materials,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said.

In an advisory, Año said the proper disposal of campaign materials must be in line with environmental laws, and local ordinances against illegal dumping, open burning and littering.

He added that the barangay and LGU material recovery facilities should be utilized to collect and restore reusable materials.

“Impose the responsibility to the organizers of political activities, to ensure that waste generated by their activities, and their attendees will be properly managed and disposed of,” Año said.

More than 168.84 tons of materials were collected after the midterm elections in 2019.

Repurpose campaign materials

EcoWaste Coalition called for the reusing and repurposing of campaign materials to minimize the volume of post-election garbage.

According to the group, sample ballots can be reused as instant notepads, while cardboard posters can be cut to make bookmarks, envelopes, folders, name plates and other school needs.

Polyethylene plastic covers can be reused as book and notebook covers, and the sturdier polyvinyl chloride plastic tarpaulin posters can be cut and sewn into carry bags of various sizes. Tarpaulins can be also repurposed as awnings or canopies for homes and stores, upholstery material, and protective shield against sun and rain for jeepneys, pedicabs and tricycles.

EcoWaste Coalition advised the public to reuse or repurpose tarpaulins for non-food and non-child applications as tarps may contain hazardous chemicals such as cadmium and phthalates.

“While reusing and repurposing is surely not a perfect solution, especially for campaign materials laden with harmful chemicals, it will no doubt lessen the volume of trash that is collected and hauled to disposal facilities, or get spilled into the natural environment, including water bodies,” EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator Aileen Lucero said.

“Regardless of your poll standing, we appeal to all candidates to exemplify your concern for Mother Earth and for public welfare by finding ways to prevent your publicity materials from ending up in waste dumps and furnaces and, God forbid, the oceans,” she added. 

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