More than 8,000 campaign materials and advertisements nailed on trees located along major roads and public places were dismantled in the first inter-agency regionwide Oplan Baklas in Cagayan Valley.
Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said the activity is the first synchronized collaborative Oplan Baklas in Region 2 where agencies concerned, namely; DENR, Commission on Elections (COMELEC), Philippine National Police, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of the Interior and Local Government and Philippine Army jointly dismantled illegally posted campaign materials.
She said the dismantled materials in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya and Batanes were turned over to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for proper reporting. These will be recycled to reduce the wastes going to the sanitary landfills.
"We thank the different partner agencies for their support and assistance to intensify the environmental protection programs of the agency pursuant to the tall order of Secretary Jim O. Sampulna to strictly enforce the prohibition of posting election ads on trees and implement zero-waste election system," Director Bambalan said in a statement.
In the recent executive committee meeting of the DENR Region 2, Director Bambalan instructed the field officials to make the oplan baklas a regular activity of the agency.
“To ensure the trees free from nailing campaign materials, our Provincial and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices will redo the oplan baklas in national and provincial roads and in areas that were not monitored during the launch,” she said.
The field officials were also ordered to continue to monitor such violation even after the election period as commercial posters and advertisements were also seen nailed on trees.#