Miss Earth joins EcoWaste call for waste-less Barangay polls

Miss Earth candidates have joined environmental activists of the EcoWaste Coalition to call for waste-less Barangay and SK polls in a bid to protect the environment.

Miss Earth Foundation brought their Philippine candidates to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) headquarters to join EcoWaste Coalition’s call for garbage prevention and reduction as the campaign peaks for the country’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

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The visit by the beauty pageant candidates “drew attention to the need to put environmental protection at the heart of the ongoing grassroots poll campaign,” the two environmental advocacy organizations declared in a joint statement sent to GNP.

The aspiring “Dyosa ng Inang Kalikasan (Beauty of Mother Nature)” candidates sought the cooperation of the election campaigners and their supporters in making the May 14 village and youth council polls less wasteful.

The move is in sync with Miss Earth newly-launched #MEPgoesplasticfree initiative where candidates refuse single-use plastics and straws.

EcoWaste had previously called for waste-free campaigns and listed 10 tips for election candidates.

Among those who came to pitch for positive environmental action were Miss Earth PH beauties:

  1. Marla Alforque (from Cebu City)
  2. Joana Cristine Dalangin (Lipa City)
  3. Liz Mabao (Mandaluyong City)
  4. Teressa Anne Mariano (Queensland, Australia)
  5. Annalea Rabe (Sta. Cruz, Marinduque)
  6. Noelle Uy Tuazon (Tangalan, Aklan)
  7. Halimatu Yushawu (Titay, Zamboanga del Sibugay)

“With over one million candidates vying for elective Barangay and SK posts, there is a real risk of increased waste generation as campaign materials are mass produced, disseminated and discarded,” said Catherine Untalan-Vital of the Miss Earth Foundation.

“We appeal to all contenders to be conscious of the environmental outcome of their campaigning activities so as not to add to the garbage problems besetting our communities,” she said.

“Regardless of the poll results, we also request them to conduct ecological post-campaign cleanup as soon as the ballots are counted,” she added.

Daniel Alejandre, Zero Waste Campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition, cautioned the public against the improper disposal of campaign materials.

“Throwing discarded campaign materials in street dumps or in distant landfills or, worst, incinerating them, will not really make waste disappear,” he said.

“Instead of the usual ‘hakot, tambak, sunog” approach, we call upon the general public, especially all would-be village and SK leaders, to embrace the basic principles and practices of ecological solid waste management,” he suggested.

“This would mean, among other things, exerting extra effort to lessen the volume of discards for disposal by segregating them at source and safely recycling them as much as possible,” he pointed.

COMELEC Commissioner Luie Tito F. Guia commended the Miss Earth Foundation and the EcoWaste Coalition for their environmental advocacy in relation to the May 14 elections.

“I commend your action and wholeheartedly join you in appealing to the Barangay and SK poll candidates and the general public to be environmentally caring and responsible. Any decrease in the volume and toxicity of campaign trash will help in reducing the negative impact of the electoral exercise on the environment,” he said.

The waste-less elections joint call by Miss Earth Philippines and EcoWaste Coalition is in line with the international pageant’s mission to have its candidates and winners actively promote and get involved in the preservation of the environment and the protection of Mother Earth.

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