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Climate and Environment

Campaign tarps posted on trees to be recycled as school bags

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Campaign tarps posted on trees to be recycled as school bags
A man removes a campaign poster from a tree on April 19, 2022.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Handout

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Wednesday it has removed more than 114,000 campaign materials tacked and nailed on trees as it warned violators of sanctions.

The agency took down 114,664 pieces of campaign materials weighing 2,050 kilograms, it said in a release. DENR field offices in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Central Luzon, and Bicol region reported the highest number of confiscated materials.

The confiscated campaign paraphernalia will be donated to environment groups such as EcoWaste Coalition and other organizations that make bags and school supplies out of those materials.

Acting environment chief Jim Sampulna stressed there are common poster areas designated by the Commissions on Elections. "Trees are not one of those."

Destroying trees and plants is illegal

Cutting, destroying or injuring planted or growing trees, flowering plants and shrubs or plants of scenic value along public roads, in plazas, parks, school premises, or in any other public grounds are prohibited under Republic Act 3571.

Section 3 of Presidential Decree 953 also states that those who destroy or injure trees could be punished with imprisonment from six months to two years, or a fine of not less than P500 and not more than P5,000, or both.

Sampulna urged the public to take photographs or videos of violators, and reminded poll candidates to be responsible in posting and disposing of campaign materials.

“The candidates themselves should promote environmentally conscious election campaigns,” he said.

In 2010, the DENR, Comelec, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government signed a joint memorandum circular which called for the reduction of wastes during and after elections, use of recyclable and reusable materials, and protection of trees from harms caused by nailing or placing of campaign paraphernalia.

 

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DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES

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