2 tons of illegal posters donated, to be recycled as schoolbags

Mike Frialde - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has donated two tons of illegally posted election campaign tarpaulins to a Church-based education group to be turned into school bags for students.

The tarpaulins were removed by MMDA clearing teams under its ongoing “Oplan Baklas” from areas not classified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as common poster areas.

MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos turned over the campaign tarpaulins to Fr. Joemar Sibug O.P. of the Babuyan Islands Missions, a group headed by of the Dominican missions of the Sto. Domingo Church.

Carlos said the MMDA is more than willing to donate the campaign materials to benefit the people, especially those who need them most.

“Primarily, these materials will be repurposed and made into backpacks for the students in remotest areas of the country. Makakatulong sa kanila ito dahil waterproof ito,” Carlos said.

Carlos said the MMDA originally planned to use the confiscated tarpaulins during times of emergencies and natural disasters.

“Nagagamit nila itong mga tarpaulin as temporary roofing kapag nilipad ng malakas na hangin yung bubong ng bahay o ng palengke,” Carlos said.

Rescue and recovery teams of the MMDA that were sent to the areas hit by typhoon Yolanda brought with them tarpaulins to be used as temporary shelter.

Mon Corpuz of the Babuyan Island Missions said that aside from the Babuyan Islands, their group would be distributing the backpacks, containing some school supplies, to Southern Palawan and Batanes.

“We want to give dignity to the students who will be attending school this semester with the backpacks made from the tarps,” Corpuz said.

Last February 18, the MMDA handed over 250 pieces of illegal election campaign tarpaulin streamers and posters to the enviromental group Ecowaste Coalition to be reused as tents and bags.

The 250 tarpaulins and posters form part of the seized seven tons of illegal campaign materials that were removed by the MMDA in the implementation of its "Oplan Baklas" drive which started on February 9.

“The seized campaign materials are valuable resources that should be put to good use,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“It will be such a huge waste if these illegal election paraphernalia are buried in landfills.  We can and we should find appropriate uses for them,” she added.

Lucero said tarpaulins can be repurposed into coin purses, pouch bags, grocery bags and even beach bags.

Tarpaulins can also be sewn into mail and shoe organizers, worker’s aprons, tool belts, laundry baskets and even as receptacles for office or household recyclables, she said. 

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