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Bill requires poll bets to clean up mess caused by campaign materials

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Representative Al Francis Bichara. Photo from congress.gov.ph

MANILA, Philippines—Who should clean up the mess caused by campaign posters and other paraphernalia after elections?

Candidates and their respective political parties should take care of the dirty work, according to a bill filed by Albay Rep. Al Francis Bichara, which is now pending at House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms.

House Bill No. 3609 seeks to amend the Omnibus Election Code to require “every candidate and political parties to remove their respective lawful election propaganda materials immediately after the expiration of the campaign period set forth by law.”

The proposed measure wants candidates and their parties to put up a “bond, cash or surety” to help ensure that they would clean up after the campaign period. The Commission on Elections would determine the amount of the bond and forfeit it in the event that candidates renege on their responsibility.

“The bill takes into account the fact that immediately after every election, public buildings, bridges, walls and other infrastructures, including those privately owned structures, are covered and littered with volumes of campaign propaganda materials,” Bichara said in the explanatory note.

“These materials add to the voluminous garbage to be disposed of by the government.”

Garbage from campaign paraphernalia has been a recurring problem during the election season. This year, candidates for local positions had apparently put up campaign posters in sidewalks, buildings, and private walls way before the campaign period officially began last Saturday.

Under Bichara’s proposal, the Comelec could do the cleanup provided that whatever expense the agency would incur would be charged against the bond to be posted by individual candidates.


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Tags: Al Francis Bichara , Election Posters , election propaganda , Elections , electoral reforms , garbage management , Legislation , Omnibus Election Code , Philippine Congress , Political Parties




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