By Rjay Zuriaga Castor
The Iloilo City Environment & Natural Resources Office (CENRO) appealed to the public to collect the campaign paraphernalia after the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) as these materials will be recycled.
“The tarpaulins that we will be collecting coming from the election campaign materials will be separately collected and we will add that to our programs with the (Cemex Holdings Philippines Inc.),” said CENRO head Engr. Neil Ravena in an interview on Wednesday.
The city government has recently inked a partnership with Regenera, the circularity solutions unit of Cemex, to help the former with its recovery, management, recycling, and sustainable disposal and diversion of residual waste.
“I would like to appeal to our barangays to have the initiative to collect the campaign materials. We will schedule the collection of this and rest assured that these materials will be recycled, or will be co-processed and will not end up in the sanitary landfill,” Ravena added.
Cemex will use the city’s waste and industrial byproducts, particularly single-use plastics, as sustainable substitutes for fossil fuels or refuse-derived fuel in the production processes of its cement.
Ravena noted that they expect a much larger bulk of campaign paraphernalia to be collected considering that the election is barangay-based.
“More or less we might collect around 15 tons,” he said.
CENRO collected around 12 tons of plastic materials in the May 2022 elections.
“These kinds of materials are low-value materials for recycling but at the same time, these are materials that take years to decompose. Good for us, we have a memorandum of agreement with the Cemex factory,” he added.
As the 10-day campaign period draws to a close, Ravena reminded the candidates not to tack or nail campaign materials on trees. He noted that they have so far received reports from Lapaz, Jaro, and Arevalo districts.
“Our barangays are cooperative in removing the campaign materials such as posters and streamers posted on trees and in reporting it to CENRO,” he added.
Section 18 of COMELEC Resolution No. 10294 prohibits the posting of any campaign paraphernalia on trees.
Republic Act 3571 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 any other public ground.
A similar prohibition is provided under Presidential Decree No. 953, which penalizes a violator of imprisonment from six months to two years, or a fine of PHP500 to PHP5,000, or both at the discretion of the court.