Tandag City (12 May 2016) – DENR-PENRO Surigao Sur initiates “Operation Baklas to Save Trees” from illegal posting of election campaign materials nailed and plastered to trees along the national highway on May 11, 2016.
OIC PENR Officer Raul A. Rosales himself led a team for the said operation which started from Balibadon in municipality of Cortes to Dayo-an in municipality of Tago. The election posters taken from the trees during the “Operation Baklas” were turned over to Tandag City ESWM office for recycling and proper disposal as mandated by RA 9003.
“We initiated the tearing down of election campaign posters and commercial advertisements installed on trees along public roads as part of our mandate to protect and save trees,” OIC PENR Officer Rosales said. “Nailing or stapling advertisements and posters to tree branches or trunks can damage the growth of the trees, and in fact it makes trees become harmful and stressful. The openings caused by the nails hammered or staplers fastened to trees could damage the tissues of trees and make them susceptible from fungi and other pathogenic organisms which might kill the trees. It is therefore our task to immediately teardown all advertisements nailed and posted on trees to rescue and save them from such destruction,” Rosales explained.
The “Operation Baklas to Save Trees” is based with the Presidential Decree No. 953 issued on July 1976 and RA 3571. Under these law, it is unlawful to damage or destroy “trees of any kind” in public roads, parks, plazas or other public areas.
Rosales also disclosed that “Operation Baklas to Save Trees” is part of DENR’s task in accordance with the Joint DENR-DILG-COMELEC Memo Circular 2013-01 which ensures a “Basura-Free Election”.
Meanwhile, PENRO Surigao del Sur Technical Services Division Chief Federico A. Senoc, Jr. bared that nailing or stapling of whatever materials on trees is a clear violation of Comelec Resolution No. 6616 and Republic Act 9006, or the Fair Elections Act, which prohibits the posting of campaign materials in public places outside the assigned common poster areas.
“Comelec Resolution No. 6616 upheld the PD No. 853 and RA 3571 which created a task force to monitor violators and tear down materials found violating the law during pre and post-election periods,” Senoc revealed. “It is for this reason that the DENR-PENRO is now implementing the “Operation Baklas to Save Trees” and help ensure a clean and green election,” Senoc added. (Johny S. Natad/ PENRO-SDS)