EcoWaste urges political aspirants not to harm trees

Published January 2, 2022, 7:04 PM

by Faith Argosino

As the campaign season draws near, political aspirants running for national and local posts were urged by the EcoWaste Coalition to refrain from nailing, stapling, or attaching their campaign posters on trees.

“Nailing, tacking or stapling of campaign materials such as tarpaulin banners and posters damages the protective bark and punctures the inside of a tree, allowing the entry of harmful organisms and eventually causing stress, inhibiting growth or killing the tree,” the environmental group said in a statement on Sunday, Jan. 2.

Aside from the candidates, the group has also appealed to campaign organizers and supporters to do the same.

Likewise, EcoWaste urged environment and natural resources offices in cities, provinces, and municipalities to remove campaign materials attached to trees and issue notices of violation to concerned parties and individuals.

It warned political aspirants that injuring trees goes against the law citing Republic Act 3571, as amended by Presidential Decree 953, which prohibits “cutting, destroying or injuring of planted or growing trees, flowering plants and shrubs or plants of scenic value along public roads, plazas, parks, school premises, or any other public ground.”

The environmental group also cited Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 10730, which states that parties and candidates who persist in displaying, posting, or exhibiting their campaign or election propaganda on trees and plants will be prosecuted for violation of RA 3571.

Anyone who violates the said law will be punished with imprisonment approximately six months to two years or a fine of P500 to P500,000 — depending on the court’s discretion.

“It is our shared responsibility to care for the trees that help us fight global warming and climate change, purify the air, provide habitats for wildlife, prevent soil erosion and floods, and supply us with food, medicine, paper, and other essentials,” the group reiterated.