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Letters to the Editor

Clean up your mess!

The Philippine Star

Now that the campaign is over, can we please ask the candidates to clean up their mess in terms of posters and tarpaulins and other campaign paraphernalia that they distributed and posted here, there and everywhere?

The people you hired to put up your posters and tarps, hire them again to take them down. Those who lost in the election will probably not be inclined to clean up their mess – bakit pa? natalo na nga eh! – but isn’t that what a true public servant – which you sought to be when you became a candidate – should do? Be a gracious – and responsible – loser, and maybe next time around people will remember your statesman-like behavior and vote you in.

The winners should all the more do the responsible thing and clean up. And while you’re at it, clean up ALL the mess – yours and your rivals’ plus those of the people running for other positions. Now is the time to show your true worth as a leader and public servant. Let your first act as public official-elect (or re-elect) be one for the community and the environment.

Last Sunday, the day after the official campaign period ended and the day before election day, I passed a truck filled with campaign tarps and a man taking down posters tacked on to trees and posts by the roadside and even hanging on wires and tree branches. He wasn’t in any sort of uniform and the truck bore no markings so I don’t know if that was an effort of the local government or of a candidate or simply someone tired of being greeted by the unsightly sight of candidates’ faces plastered all over the fences along our streets – visual pollution at its worst!

The Comelec is still going to come up with a resolution asking candidates to clean up their mess; who knows how long that will take as the Comelec will certainly be busy canvassing the votes and addressing complaints of broken vote counting machines (seems like there were a lot of those) and other post-election issues.

Candidates should “do the right thing” on their own initiative and not wait for the Comelec to order (although Comelec said they cannot compel candidates to do so as there is no law covering that) them to act.

And this time, candidates who do get around to having their supporters clean up their campaign mess can have them proudly wear shirts bearing the names and even faces of the candidates. This form of post-election campaign will be most welcome.

The climate crisis and environmental concerns would be on top of the incoming officials’ agenda. Typhoon season is coming around, and if the first typhoon of the year, Agaton, is any indication, storms are going to be fierce.

So please, take this first step in your term and do proper clean-up. You owe it to those who voted for you, and to the public you will be sworn in to serve. – William Noel Tan, San Juan City

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