Campaign posters are still not removed by candidates in many areas in Puerto Princesa. (Photo by Genecent Santos)

Candidates, whether they won or lost in the May 13 midterm elections, must remove their campaign posters in various areas, the city Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said Tuesday.

Girlie Pacamarra, city election officer, said although there is no COMELEC ruling on this particular post-election activity, it should be an inherent duty of candidates to remove or clean the areas where their campaign materials were displayed.

“Dapat ang mga kandidato mismo ang magtanggal. Kasi responsibilidad nila ‘yan,” Pacamarra said.

A day after the election, Palawan News noticed there are still campaign posters displayed in some areas in the city.

Photos of these materials not yet removed were taken.

The City Solid Waste Management Office (CSWMO) told Palawan News that they were the ones together with the Oplan Linis and personnel from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that removed the campaign materials of candidates who ran in several elective posts in the city.

Jalkiri Illescas, area supervisor for operations of the CSWMO, said they have already collected four truckloads of election posters which are mostly plastics or tarpaulins and their removal and hauling of these materials are still ongoing, focusing on the city proper.

“National highway pa lang po sa north and south – from Bgy. Sta. Lourdes to Adventist Hospital at mula doon hanggang sa Bgy. Irawan sa south road ang nababaklas namin at nahahakot,” Illescas said.

Illescas added that after they have collected the campaign materials they bring it to the sanitary landfill and leave it there.

“Kasi considered ito na residual waste. Ito yung mga hindi na napapakinabangan at hindi nabubulok,” he said.

He added that in the city, there is no one who has an interest to recycle these materials.

EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watch likewise urged those who ran for elective posts as well as the general public to conduct post-election cleanup and upcycling activities.

“Regardless of the outcome of your election bid, we appeal to all candidates and parties to take down your campaign materials without delay.  Kabit, sabit o dikit mo, tanggal mo,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordination.

“Sort the dismantled campaign materials and upcycle them as much as possible,” she suggested.  nn“Upcycling, or the creative reuse of discards, is a practical way of saving resources from being burned or sent to the dumps and landfills for disposal,” she added.

Decreased garbage volume, lower disposal cost, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, conservation of resources, cleaner surroundings and enhanced environmental awareness are some of the benefits of upcycling election campaign materials, according to the EcoWaste Coalition.