CCC calls for ban on plastic poll campaign materials

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

September 7, 2023, 9:18 pm

MANILA – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) on Thursday called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to formulate a policy that would prohibit the use of plastic-made campaign materials in the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

In a statement, CCC Commissioner Albert Dela Cruz Sr. said the policy must also be implemented in the future exercise of the public's right to suffrage as the widespread use of plastics has tagged the country as a top contributor to ocean plastic pollution.

"During his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Romualdez Marcos Jr. lamented that the Philippines had been tagged as among the top three contributors to ocean plastic pollution and this year was in fact described as the No. 1 Ocean Plastic Contributor by an international magazine," he said.

Consequently, the CCC was mandated to create policies supporting the Marcos administration’s call for the fulfillment of the country’s commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement which aims to initiate immediate climate action to save the environment and preserve a resilient future for the coming generations of Filipinos.

“We recognize that issues on climate change include the production and use of plastics, especially single-use plastics (SUPs) that eventually aggravate the garbage situation and pollution in the country. Considering its negative impacts on the environment and human health, everyone must understand what needs to be done to effectively reduce, and ultimately, to eliminate these plastics,” Dela Cruz said.

“This is why, I welcome Senator Loren Legarda’s Senate Bill 246, or the ‘Single-Use Plastics Regulation and Management Act of 2022’, which will not only lead to the phase-out and eventual ban of SUPs in the country, but also support the development and use of more eco-friendly packaging.”

Candidates for elected positions —from the barangay to the national government — use plastic materials during their campaign sorties and activities. These include tarpaulins, handouts, flyers and banderitas (small flags).

Dela Cruz said plastic-made campaign materials contribute to the problem of increasing volume of waste that pollute not only the environment but also end up in garbage dumps and even in canal systems, rivers, lakes, ocean and other bodies of water.

“I am stressing the importance of issuing a policy that would prohibit the use of plastic campaign materials so the possibility of adding to our already polluted environment is eliminated,” he said.

Earlier, the Comelec reported a total of 1,414,487 individuals submitted their certificates of candidacy for the BSKE on Oct. 30.

The two-week campaign period will start on Oct. 19 to 28. (PNA)