Green Groups Urge Poll Candidates Not to Torture Trees

environmental groups have joined forces to ask candidates for the impending polls
to spare defenseless trees as the electoral campaign goes full blast across the
Through a joint statement, the EcoWaste Coalition and National Coalition to
Save the Trees (NCST) appealed to national and local candidates “not to commit further
torture on trees by nailing, pinning and tacking campaign materials on them.”
“These acts of torture could stress out the trees and make them susceptible to decay-causing
microorganisms, injurious insects and diseases leading to stunted growth, shorter
lifespan and early death,” said Father Robert Reyes, Chairperson, NCST.
“We need trees to supply us and other animals with clean air to breathe, to prevent
deadly landslides and floods, and to protect us from global warming and climate
change.  Please don’t hurt the trees to
advance your political agenda,” he said.
“Poll candidates might claim they are not the ones committing these acts of
torture on trees and pin the blame solely on their supporters,” noted Aileen
Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“That is a lame excuse and unacceptable. 
Politicians have the responsibility to ensure that their campaign does
not in any way harm trees and Mother Earth,” she emphasized.  

Candidates placing campaign materials on trees would be violating Commission on
Elections (COMELEC) Resolution 10049, or the Rules and Regulations Implementing
Republic Act 9006, the Fair Elections Act, the groups said.
Under the said resolution, campaign materials should not be posted in public
structures, schools, bridges, center islands, transportation terminals, waiting
sheds, electric posts and wires, trees and other unauthorized places.
Harming trees also goes against Republic Act 3571, which prohibits the
“cutting, destroying or injuring of planted or growing trees, flowering plants
and shrubs or plants of scenic value along public roads, in plazas, parks,
school premises or in any other public ground.”
To prevent and reduce the adverse
environmental impacts of electoral activities, the EcoWaste Coalition urged all
political aspirants and their camps to apply the following 5Rs towards
eco-friendly campaigning.
1. RESPECT the trees by keeping them

2. REFUSE overspending for campaign advertisements and materials. 
3. REDUCE trash by not using campaign stuff that
are barely reused or recycled such as balloons, buntings, confetti and sample
campaign paraphernalia for reusing or recycling purposes.
5.  REMOVE election campaign materials
immediately after the polling day. 
The group likewise urged the COMELEC, the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources and the Department of Interior and Local Government to intensify the “Basura-Free
Election 2016” drive.
The drive seeks to promote compliance to Republic Act 9003, the Ecological
Solid Waste Management Act, during and after the election campaign by all political
parties and party list groups and their candidates and backers.