Calamba City, Laguna – DENR CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria directed all Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENRO) and Community Environment and Natural Offices (CENRO) within the region to remove election materials posted by political candidates in compliance with the directive of DENR Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna.
Under Section 9 of the Republic Act No. 9006 or the Fair Election Act of 2001, the posting of campaign materials may only be allowed in common poster areas. Moreover, Section 21.b. of COMELEC Resolution No. 10730 dated November 17, 2021 or the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. No. 9006 “Fair Election Act of 2001”, stipulates that “in no instance shall an Election Officer designate as common poster areas any trees, plants, shrubs, located along public roads, in plazas, parks, school premises or any public grounds''. Section 3 of the Presidential Decree No. 953 dated July 6, 1976 states that "any person who cuts, destroys, damages or injures trees of any kind shall be penalized to six (6) months to 2 years of imprisonment or a fine of Php 500.00 to Php 5,000.00”.
PENRO Laguna conducted its operation last February 22-26, 2022 in the cities of Biñan, Cabuyao and Calamba in coordination with the concerned LGUs, COMELEC and PNP. Likewise, CENRO Sta.Cruz, Laguna conducted their operation on April 23, 2022.
For Batangas, CENRO Lipa conducted its operations on February 26, 2022 and April 21, 2022 within its areas of responsibility, removing more than 2500 pieces of campaign materials. On the other hand, CENRO Calaca conducted operations on February 26 and 28, 2022 within municipalities of Agoncillo, Sta. Teresita, Taal, Nasugbu, Lian, Lemery, San Nicolas, Tuy, Balayan and Calaca resulting in the removal of approximately 1000 pieces of illegally posted campaign materials.
On April 13, 2022, PENRO Cavite spearheaded an operation in Ternate and Gen. Trias, Cavite in close coordination with the LGUs. The campaign materials were turned over to the local barangays so that the same may still be posted on designated areas only.
PENRO Rizal, on April 20-21, 2022, conducted removal of illegal campaign material on trees along Marilaque Road, Brgy. San Jose, Antipolo City and Manila East Road, Brgy. Lagundi, Morong, Rizal. They also informed political candidates to advise followers and supporters to stop posting campaign materials on trees, and reminded them of the existing rules and regulations. The said office conducted its third operation on April 26, 2022 in Antipolo City and Taytay, Rizal, wherein, 221 pieces of campaign materials had been removed.
PENRO Quezon also conducted joint operation with CENRO Tayabas removing a total of 1,335 campaign materials nailed and tied on trees on April 21, 2022 along roads of Barangays Lakawan, Ibabang Alsam, Lawigue, Kanlurang Palale, and Ibabang Palale in Tayabas City. The team leaders of Patrol Sectors under CENRO Tayabas were also instructed to conduct similar activities within their respective areas of jurisdiction. CENRO Catanauan removed campaign materials within its AOR on March 25, 2022 in coordination with DILG, PNP, and COMELEC.
Similar activities were conducted by CENRO Catanauan on April 23, 2022 along the national highway of Catanauan, Quezon removing 2.0 kilos of campaign materials. Moreover, simultaneous ‘Oplan Baklas’ was conducted by CENRO Real together with COMELEC and PNP within the municipalities of Real, General Nakar and Infanta, Quezon on the said date. On April 26, 2022, CENRO Calauag, Quezon undertook its operation along Maharlika Highway in Calauag, Quezon.
DENR CALABARZON thru its PENROs and CENROs continue to remove illegally posted campaign materials and conduct IEC activities to raise awareness on the existing environmental laws, rules and regulations.
The regional department also urges the public to report such incidences through its hotline numbers 0561825774 and 09198744369, and official Facebook page @DENR4AOfficial, and Instagram and Twitter accounts @denrcalabarzon.###