DENR urges candidates to make campaign ‘environment friendly’
Jun Elias (The Philippine Star) - February 21, 2019 - 12:00am

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, Philippines — As local candidates for the 2019 elections prepare intensely for the campaign period to kick off on March 29, a Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) field official has urged politicians to make the campaign “environmentally friendly.” 

Lawyer Lito Salatan, DENR’s Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer for Western Pangasinan, appealed to local candidates and their supporters to spare the trees from partisan politics amid the proliferation of “advocacy materials” of politicians seeking elective posts in the May 13 midterm polls. 

Salatan said no campaign materials should be nailed or hooked up on the trunk of trees or be dangled on branches, adding that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has assigned common poster areas where campaign materials of candidates are to be displayed. 

“Trees are not common poster areas and whoever puts or hangs campaign materials on trees can be charged with election offense,” Salatan, a former municipal vice mayor before he joined DENR in 2015, said. 

Should candidates and their supporters spoil the greenery, Salatan warned that the CENRO’s Task Force Baklas will take the campaign materials down and cooperate with Comelec for the prosecution of those responsible.

“Trees should not be involved in partisan politics by not making them carry campaign materials for or against candidates,” he said, noting trees should rather be “mute witnesses” of peaceful and orderly polls.

He said that he will seek an audience with local bets to persuade them to comply with Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act especially during campaign rallies.

He suggested that in the campaign sorties, candidates and their supporters should “clean as you go” and bring their own waste baskets to make sure the venues where they hold their rallies would be free from litter and trash.

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