Wednesday, April 3, 2013



Tuesday, 02 April 2013 00:00 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has joined forces with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to ensure a garbage-free election campaign.
A joint memorandum circular (JMC) was signed by the heads of the three agencies to make sure that local officials, political parties, party-list organizations, candidates and their supporters will adhere to the provisions of Republic Act (RA) No. 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, during the campaign period.
RA 9003 provides for a systematic, comprehensive and ecological solid waste management system to ensure the protection of public health and the environment through the adoption of environmentally sound methods like waste avoidance and volume reduction.
Signatories to the JMC are DENR Undersecretary and Chief of Staff lawyer Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, representing DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje; DILG Assistant Secretary Rolando M. Acosta, representing DILG Secretary Mar Roxas; and Comelec Commisioner Lucenito N. Tagle, representing Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr.
Teh said the three agencies were compelled to come up with the JMC and launch a campaign dubbed “Basura-Free Election 2013: Kalat Ko Sisinupin Ko” in anticipation of a deadly avalanche of election trash that would likely produce heaps of garbage all over the country once the campaign season goes full swing.
“Through this garbage-free campaign, we hope to minimize and properly manage the volume of garbage from campaign materials during the national and local elections,” Teh said.
She said the undertaking also seeks to secure the commitment of all participants in this year’s midterm elections to properly manage waste during the election period and encourage them to adhere to relevant provisions of Comelec Resolution No. 9615, which is the implementing rules and regulations for the Fair Election Act, and other relevant laws.
“We expect all those involved in the elections to observe earth-friendly campaign practices to ensure a waste-free election campaign,” Teh said.
Under the JMC, the DENR, the DILG and the Comelec are tasked to ensure the strict implementation of a garbage-free campaign; compel all participants in the midterm elections to observe pertinent provisions of RA 9003 and other relevant laws, ordinances and guidelines; and disseminate the JMC and its attached guidelines to all concerned.
Comelec, together with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, will monitor and tear down materials found violating the Fair Election Act in the National Capital Region.
The poll body and its deputized agencies, DENR regional executive directors, regional directors of the Environmental Management Bureau, provincial environment and natural resources officers, community environment and natural resources officers, DILG regional directors and the Sangguniang Kabataan are directed to monitor compliance of local government units, political parties, party-lists, candidates and their supporters to the JMC and its attached guidelines.
Civil society, youth groups and private individuals are also encouraged to report any violations of the JMC and its guidelines, which are enforced from January 13 to June 12, 2013.
Sanctions await those who will violate the joint circular using the penalties provided under the Local Government Code, RA 9003 and other applicable laws.
Under the guidelines, all political parties, party-lists and candidates are directed to:
• adhere to a litter-free campaign;
• minimize use of non-reusable and disposable materials and promote the use of recyclable, biodegradable and non-hazardous materials;
• exercise best effort to use reusable materials and alternative methods of campaigning such as social networking sites and text messaging;
• adhere to RA 3571 that prohibits the cutting, destroying or injuring of planted or growing trees, flowering plants and shrubs or plants of scenic value along public roads, in plazas, parks, school premises or in any other public ground;
• post campaign materials in common poster areas such as plazas, markets, barangay centers and the like in accordance with the provisions of the IRR of the Fair Election Act. A common poster area does not refer to a post, a tree, the wall of a building or an existing public structure that is in active use;
• clean up the surroundings after each activity;
• observe waste segregation, 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) and proper waste disposal during campaign meetings and other related activities;
• coordinate with the Solid Waste Management Unit of the LGU and/or barangay regarding the proper segregation, collection, recovery, recycling, and safe disposa of garbage;
• submit the name/s of their duly designated point person/s to COMELEC to ensure compliance to these guidelines.
For purposes of waste segregation, local government units (LGUs) and the Department of Education will provide properly labeled receptacles or racks at designated voting centers without any campaign label identifying the political parties, party-list groups and candidates.
LGUs are required to reuse, recycle and property dispose of election campaign materials immediately after the election period. #

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