Spare Trees! DENR ask poll candidates

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THE DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here warned the candidates of the coming 2016 poll election and their supporters to spare the trees when posting their campaign materials.

“It’s only a month now before the coming national and local elections, various campaign materials of poll candidates are now posted everywhere” said Francisco Milla, Jr., Regional Director of DENR in Central Luzon. 

He said the DENR will not hesitate to remove posters, tarpaulins and other campaign materials found nailed or stapled to trees. He also reminded every DENR employees to disseminate the correct information on the rules for posting campaign materials.

COMELEC Resolution No. 6616 has deputized the DENR Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to tear down, remove campaign propaganda materials posted in public places outside the common poster areas.

The resolution also ordered the DENR to monitor and watch out persons posting and distributing unlawful election paraphernalia and to arrest persons caught in flagrante delicto.

“Common poster area as defined in Section 18 of COMELEC Resolution No. 96-15 dated January 15, 2013, does not refer to a “tree” but a structure temporarily set up by candidates or political parties for the purpose of displaying materials and at no instance shall an Election Officer designates a tree, flowering plants or shrubs located in public roads, plazas, school premises or public grounds as common poster area”, explained Milla Jr.

He added that aside from these resolutions, candidates who will mount, nail and staple campaign materials on trees violates Section 3 of Republic Act (RA) 3571 and Section 3 of Presidential Decree (PD) 953 also known as “Injuring of planted or growing tree, flowering plants and shrubs of scenic value along public roads, plazas, parks, school premises or public grounds”.

Violation of RA 3571 imposes a penalty of a minimum imprisonment of up to six (6) years to whoever caught destroying or injuring of planted or growing trees along public roads, plazas, parks, school premises or in any public ground.

Earlier, Milla, Jr. has directed all Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENRO and CENRO) in the region to closely monitor the observance of rules on posting of campaign materials.