Environmental Issues Goes Political

Now that the national election in the Philippines is brewing which is to be held in May of this year, an advocacy group which called themselves as Eco Waste Coalition has a plea to the more than 50 million Filipino voters before they make their final choices for the candidates running for public office.

Their plea to the Filipino electorate is to vote for candidates who will stand up for mother nature and those who “green championed” and who genuinely promote environmental conservation, protection for the common good and building ecological communities that are devoid of trash and pollution.

To assist the Philippine electorate in making “green” political choices on election day, the Eco Waste Coalition released its guide and checklist to the Filipino voters known as the “Ten Commandments On How To Choose Green Candidates”. This provide a useful guidance and insight on what to seek from candidates in terms of their environmental track record and platform.

In their quest of choosing the next ecological leaders who can apparently leave a green legacy to its people and country. The following are the Eco group’s environmental “Ten Commandments”:

1) Thou shall not vote for candidates using the 4 G’s to win: Gins, Goons, Gold and Garbage. Vote for the candidates for the essential M’s: Malinis (Clean), Maayos (Orderly), Matipid (Thriftiness), Mapanindigan (Principled), Marangal (Honorable), Mapayapa (Peaceful), Makatao (Pro-People), Makalikasan (Pro-Nature) and Maka-Diyos (Godly).
Moreover, support candidates known for their simple, pro-people and ecological lifestyles.

2) Thou shall not support candidates who nail, staple, strap or plaster campaign materials on defenseless trees and other restricted sites. Vote for candidates who love and plant trees, use the least amount of campaign materials and abide by the campaign rules.

3) Thou shall not pick candidates who use smoke belching vehicles that contribute the worsening air quality. Go for candidates on bicycles rather than those who come in convoy of cars. Vote for those who use fewer vehicles in motorcades to reduce fuel consumption and car emissions.

4) Thou shall not fall for candidates who make beautiful speeches about their love of the people and the environment but fail to match their words with deeds. Check if the candidates is engaged in any environmental advocacy or project. Avoid choosing candidates who have financial interest in any polluting and environmentally destructive business.

5) Thou shall not select candidates who profess to protect the environment but are mute on what they intend to do. Ask the candidates on how they intend to serve the interest of the environment. Vote for those who will work earnestly to heal and protect the environment.

6) Thou shall not choose candidates who are hooked up to outmoded “hakot-tambak-sunog” (haul-dump-burn) and fail to shut down illegal dumps. Vote for those who segregate their discards at home, in the work place and who support ecological, low cost and community driven alternative to dumps, landfill and incinerators.

7) Thou shall not vote for candidates who ignore the health, environmental, socio economic and human rights concerns against ‘sanitary’ landfills, ‘waste to energy’ dams and similar infrastructure plans. Vote for candidates who assert the people basic needs and not to the dictates of the World Bank and other international funding institutions.

8) Thou shall not elect candidates who want to build big dams and allow mining, logging and other extractive industries to rape the land and abuse human rights, especially the rights of the indigenous people. Vote for those who take the cudgels for the human as well as the non human victims, such as trees, plants and wildlife of environmentally damaging human activities.

9) Thou shall not back candidates who will not take action against the health and safety threats of genetically modified crops and food products. Vote for the candidates who will advanced the people’s right to safe and healthy food as well as food production systems that nurture the earth.

10) Thou shall not vote for the candidates who refuse to acknowledge global warming and vote for candidates who see the need for preventive and precautionary actions to stop climate change. Go for candidates who oppose new coal power projects and support community made utilities using renewable energy sources.

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