Cayetano launches eco-friendly, lead-by-example campaign in Senate comeback

Don’t expect posters, flyers, and other traditional materials from former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano as he launches an “eco-friendly, lead-by-example” campaign in his comeback trail to the Senate in the May 2022 elections.

“Ano ang pumapasok sa isip natin ‘pag sinabing ‘halalan sa Pilipinas’? Nandyan ang maaksayang paggamit ng papel, tinta, at iba pang printing materials. Ilang puno ang nasasakripisyo natin sa iilang buwan lamang na kampanya?” Cayetano said on Monday, one day before the start of the campaign period for national positions.

(What image comes to mind when we talk of elections in the Philippines? It’s the wasteful use of paper, ink, and other printing materials. How many trees are sacrificed for the few months of the campaign period?)

“Hindi lamang ito maaksaya, nakakadagdag pa  ito sa napakalaking problema natin sa basura,” he added.

(They are not only wasteful, they also add to the garbage problem that is huge enough as it is.)

Cayetano instead asked the public to show their support by planting trees and mangroves and, for those in the cities, doing urban farming like making backyard gardens or even green walls.

He also encouraged supporters to grow flowering plants and engage in other sustainable practices, saying the future generations are depending on us to leave a better world for them.

Cayetano said one of the unexpected results of the pandemic was it brought families closer together and made the environment cleaner as people stayed home.

“This campaign season should not be a reason for candidates to spoil this unforeseen benefit,” he said.

Leading by example in doing away with printed campaign materials, Cayetano said his campaign will instead focus on digital platforms since according to a Pulse Asia survey, 63% of Filipinos have access to the internet as of 2021.

“Malawak na rin ang  naabot ng internet sa Pilipinas at posible na ngayong magpatakbo ng isang eco-friendly campaign,” he said.

(The internet has a wide reach in the Philippines, and this makes it possible for us to run an eco-friendly campaign.)

Cayetano, who has topped two national surveys in recent months, urged his supporters to join the movement and not produce campaign materials other than digital ones.

“Samahan ninyo ako sa ating bagong style ng pangangampanya. Huwag na po tayong mag-print ng mga poster dahil nakasisira ito sa kapaligiran natin. Tumutok na lang tayo sa Facebook at iba pang platform para hikayatin ang mga Pilipinong ibalik tayo sa Senado,” he said.

(Join me in this new campaign style. Let’s not print posters because these will only contribute to the destruction of the environment. Let’s focus on Facebook and other platforms to encourage Filipinos to vote us back to the Senate.)

He also said he would not mount motorcades in keeping with his push for a more environment-friendly approach to his campaign.

“Mas mahalagang gumawa tayo ng hakbang para mapangalagaan ang ating environment sa panahon na ito. Protecting the environment means protecting ourselves. Huwag nating hintaying may delubyo na namang dumating bago tayo umaksyon,” he said.

(It’s more important for us to take steps to protect the environment at this time. Protecting the environment means protecting ourselves. Let’s not wait for another flood to happen before we act.)###

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