Reject bets who nail campaign posters on trees
DENR-7 URGES VOTERS
AN official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR-7) yesterday urged voters to only elect candidates in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections who include in their platforms the protection of environment.
Dismayed by the rampant violation of the law that prohibits the posting or nailing of campaign materials on trees, Emma Melana, assistant regional director of DENR-7, said that the non-compliance of candidates on different environmental laws and regulations is a clear indication that they have no intention to protect the environment.
“They should include this in their platform. But even if we keep reminding them about this, some candidates still violate the law,” Melana said.
Yesterday, DENR-7 in coordination with the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Philippine National Police (PNP), conducted “Oplan Baklas” by tearing down all campaign materials that were nailed or posted on trees.
Almost 500 pieces or around 150 kilos of campaign materials and commercial ads were collected or removed during the operation, said Melana.
The collected illegally posted materials were composed of commercial ads mostly made of tarpaulin materials weighing 61 kilos, 32 kilos of plywood, 35 kilos of steels, and election paraphernalia weighing around 12 kilos.
Three teams were deployed during the operation in Barangays Guadalupe, Katipunan and Quiot Pardo in Cebu City south district; Barangays Camputhaw, Lahug and Zapatera in Cebu City north district; and in Mandaue City.
Each team was composed of two DENR-7 personnel, and one personnel each from Comelec, DILG and DPWH, and two PNP personnel.
“We are just implementing the existing laws, and we are regularly doing this during elections,” she added.
The composite teams were also able to gather a total of 10 kilos of iron nails used in the illegal posting of various materials on trees.
The group did not experience any resistance from the candidates and their supporters.
She said the wounds on trees created by the iron nails invite insects, bacteria and fungus that could result to infestation and rotting of trees.
Under Section 3 of Republic Act 3571, no cutting, destroying, or injuring of planted or growing trees, flowering plants and shrubs or plants of scenic value along public roads, in plazas, parks other than national parks, school premises or in any other public ground shall be permitted.
Presidential Decree 953 also provides a similar prohibition, the violation of which carried a prison term from six months to two years or a fine that ranged from P500 to P5,000, or both, depending on the discretion of the court.
Ariel Rica, Enforcement Division chief of DENR-7, also said that candidates who are proven to have violated these laws may also face perpetual disqualification from running for public office.
Rica yesterday appealed to all candidates to obey the law or voluntarily remove their campaign materials that were nailed on trees.
In the 2016 presidential elections, DENR-7 also tore down over 5,000 campaign paraphernalia nailed or posted on trees.
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