By Chito Chavez
The environmental watchdog EcoWaste Coalition reminded officials of schools to be used as polling places in next Monday elections must rid the premises of illegal campaign materials.
The group said removing the illegal campaign materials within the school premises will cut down the volume of garbage.
“We appeal to concerned school principals to ensure that the entire school premises, including the frontage, fences, walls and sidewalks, are free of election propaganda materials,” said Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator.
To promote compliance to the rules on election propaganda, the group asked all agencies deputized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to intensify the removal of oversized and misplaced election campaign posters.
“To encourage respect for the rule of law, we urge agencies authorized by the Comelec to conduct nonstop removal operations of posters and other campaign materials that are oversized or displayed in forbidden places,” Lucero said.
Despite repeated Comelec warnings, Lucero said the group found “lots of campaign materials nailed or stapled on trees, or hanging from lamp posts, bridges, waiting sheds and other inappropriate places.”
Among the agencies designated by the Comelec to dismantle unlawful campaign materials are the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Interior and Local Government, Public Works and Highways, and Transportation, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and the Philippine National Police.
Comelec Resolution No. 10488 allows “posters made of cloth, paper, cardboard or any other material, whether framed or posted, with an area not exceeding two feet by three feet,” and prohibits the display of such posters “outside authorized common poster areas, in public places, or in private properties without the consent of the owner.”
Campaign posters are also banned in waiting sheds, sidewalks, street and lamp posts, electric posts and wires, traffic signage and other signboards erected on public property, pedestrian overpasses and underpasses, flyovers and underpasses, bridges, main thoroughfares, and center islands of roads and highways.