MANILA -- A group is planning to help raise public awareness about the May 2019 electoral candidates' stand on the environment.

"Before this year's elections, we'll identify candidates with progressive environmental positions," Break Free from Plastic Movement coordinator, Von Hernandez, said in a press conference in Quezon City on Tuesday.

Such initiative will help voters better assess the candidates so they can opt to elect those committed to protecting the environment, he said.

Hernandez said continuing plastics pollution and other forms of environmental degradation are raising urgency for such “green votes.”

He said results of a third quarter 2018 Social Weather Stations survey demonstrated the need for politicians to be pro-environment.

The results showed that more than half of the survey's respondents manifested support for candidates who will ban single-use plastics, he noted, adding that the results also showed eight of 10 Filipinos will vote for candidates who will advocate strict implementation of solid waste management.

"Those results showed there's potential for green votes since the public is becoming aware of environmental problems in the country," Hernandez said.

"We'll do that survey, analyze the candidates' response and rank them according to how progressive their thinking is about the environment," he said.

He said the group will release, before election day on May 13, the list showing such candidates' rankings.

"However, doing so won't constitute an endorsement of candidates," he clarified.

Hernandez expressed hope that candidates who would get elected would push for local and national environmental measures, such as banning single-use plastics and promoting sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives to these.

People generally throw away single-use plastics so replacing these with such alternatives would reduce the volume of waste for disposal and help address the country's garbage problem, he said. (PNA)