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MARCH 11, 2014

NR # 3402B

Strict use of non-toxic, non-hazardous election materials sought

With just two years before elections, party-list lawmakers are proposing the strict use of biodegradable and non-hazardous election propaganda materials to protect the people from the curse of nature. No less than the 1 !" #onstitution mandates the $tate to protect and ad%ance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature,& '()'*'N +eps. ,barra -utierrez ,,, and Walden )ello, authors of .) /01", stressed. .) /01", to be known as the )iodegradable and Non-.azardous 2lection 3ropaganda 4aterials 'ct of 5016,& seeks to amend +.'. No. 007 or the 8air 2lections 'ct& and )atas 3ambansa !!1 or the 9mnibus 2lection #ode of the 3hilippines.& :he lawmakers pointed out that a person li%ing in 4etro 4anila, on the a%erage, generates about half a kilo of solid waste a day, translating to almost 1. 1 million metric tons of solid waste per year. :his number would dramatically increase during election campaign periods, when candidates for electi%e e positions go into intensi%e information dri%es by distributing pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals, stickers, letters, posters, streamers, and other election propaganda materials. 's the amount of solid wastes continue to increase, so does en%ironment degradation,& -utierrez said. :hey noted that one of the laws passed to implement the aforementioned constitutional mandate on en%ironment protection is +.'. 00/ or the 2cological $olid Waste 4anagement 'ct of 5000.& +.'. 00/ mandates the adoption of a systematic, comprehensi%e and ecological solid waste management;program which shall, among others, utilize en%ironmentally-sound methods that ma<imize the utilization of %aluable resources and encourage resource con%ersion and reco%ery, and set guidelines and targets for solid waste a%oidance and %olume reduction through source reduction and waste minimization measures. :he increased production of election campaign materials will also increase the use of materials that are scientifically pro%en to be hazardous to human health and to the en%ironment,& the authors added. :arpaulins used for streamers, they pointed out, are coated and printed with substances containing cadmium, a carcinogenic element. )allers gi%en out to campaign %olunteers do not only contain cadmium, but a produce using lead, a substance which has pro%en neuroto<icity to humans. We all know that cadmium and lead are considered as major public health concerns by the World .ealth 9rganization,& the authors stressed. =/0> dpt