LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Bicol (DENR-5) on Friday reminded all national and local candidates as well as their supporters to refrain from posting their campaign posters on trees.
DENR-5 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla Jr. said campaign materials should only be posted at the poster areas designated by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“We would like to advise the candidates and supporters who have nailed various campaign materials on trees to voluntarily remove them now before they are served with warnings,” said Milla on DENR-5's social media page.
Aside from being prohibited by law, putting up tarpaulins and streamers on trees using iron nails could also damage the condition of trees, he noted.
"Individuals who will be caught doing the said act or in any form of damaging tress will be penalized under RA (Republic Act) No. 3571 or “An Act to Prohibit the Cutting, Destroying or Injuring of Planted or Growing Trees, Flowering Plants and Shrubs or Plants of Scenic Value Along Public Roads, in Plazas, Park, Schools Premises or in Any Other Public Pleasure Ground,” the post read.
Moreover, Section 3 of Presidential Decree (PD) 953 prohibits the cutting, destroying, damaging, or injuring of naturally grown and planted trees of any kind unless it is necessary for public safety.
Under PD 953, violators could be subjected to six months to two years of imprisonment, or a fine of PHP500 to PHP5,000 or both at the discretion of the court.
DENR-5 encouraged all candidates and their supporters to use eco-friendly materials instead of tarpaulins, which may contain toxic substances that are harmful to the health and environment.
The agency likewise reminded the public to report any environmental law violations to the nearest DENR field office or through its social media page. (With a report from Eliakim Neric, PNA-OJT)