MANILA, Philippines—Most, if not all, of Metro Manila candidates’ campaign materials posted in prohibited areas have been removed by field personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Metro Manila Development Authority.
But it’s another story in the provinces, according to the DPWH.
The problem has prompted Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson to order the agency’s central and regional offices to strictly comply with Commission on Elections Resolution No. 9858, which deputized both the DPWH and MMDA to assist the election body in “removing and tearing down all unlawful election materials.”
In a recent memo, Singson directed DPWH offices to “form their core teams of field personnel and supervisors to coordinate with the Comelec offices in carrying out their deputized tasks for the automated national elections.”
The same teams should “concentrate on violations committed within the scope and jurisdiction of our agency, particularly along national roads and bridges,” he said.
Singson directed DPWH teams to remove election propaganda materials, especially those posted by candidates and their supporters on structures along national roads and bridges.
“These unlawful election materials, many of which pepper road safety and traffic signs, pose danger to motorists. Oftentimes, traffic directional signs can no longer be read by motorists,” he said.
He also called for the immediate removal of billboards and tarpaulins giving credit to politicians for ongoing or completed public works projects.
According to Singson, “this is our way of supporting the anti-epal campaign, or the citizens’ call on politicians not to use government projects as accessory resources to drumbeat their accomplishments.”
The DPWH, he said, “will protect government properties, such as national roads and bridges, from being utilized as accessory resources of any candidate, regardless of party affiliation or groups wanting to have a name recall through self-serving public display of their propaganda materials.”
At the same time, Singson urged the public to “help the department in identifying violators by sending location details of illegally posted campaign materials through Text 2920, website www.dpwh.gov.ph or DPWH call center hotline 16502.”