DENR, Comelec, DPWH ink MOA to remove election campaign posters nailed on trees, posted on national road

LAOAG CITY — Election campaign paraphernalia nailed on trees and posted on non-designated campaign poster areas such as along national road is a no-no in the province of Ilocos Norte.

To maintain cleanliness of the city and make it pleasing to the eye, the Operation Baklas Task Force composed mainly of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Commission on Elections, Department of Public Works and Highways and other various private and non-government organizations will organize its first wave of operation on the first week of April and remove all forms of advertisement and election-related materials which are illegally posted from the Badoc highway all the way to Pagudpud, the northern most part of the province.

From 46 kilos of nails removed from live trees and at least three truckloads of campaign posters collected in 2007 since the “Sagip Puno, Tanggal Pako’ project was launched in the province, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Juan Delos Reyes hopes it will significantly decrease this year, now that more and more people are aware of this green advocacy initiated by a multi-sectoral group eight years ago.

Every election period, the group reactivates the said task force to intensify campaign against illegally-posted election materials particularly those situated on approaches of bridges and right of way of national roads.

With at least 66 maintenance workers from the DPWH with dump truck and boom heights to assist them, the Comelec has deputized them to remove these campaign ads obstructing the view of the national road. Meanwhile, the DENR personnel and some volunteers will also be removing posters or whatever advertisements nailed on trees.

In time for the April 22 Earth Day celebration, the task force will again resume the second phase of their operation, following the same route.

In 2010, the group has already called the attention of all violators to refrain from posting on non-designated common poster areas.

“We appeal to our candidates to post their campaign ads only in identified common poster areas and don’t wait for a case to be filed against them,” said Delos Reyes in a press conference held on Monday. PNA /