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Groups to politicians: Spare trees from politics

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 08:39 AM January 23, 2019

Environmental groups are appealing to politicians and their supporters to spare trees from political campaigns, like what happened in this photo taken in 2016. MARK ALVIC ESPLANA / INQUIRER SOUTHERN LUZON

MANILA, Philippines — Environmental groups have appealed to individuals and groups running in the midterm elections to spare the trees from campaign materials. 

The EcoWaste Coalition and the National Coalition to Save the Trees (NCST) made the appeal on Wednesday after finding plastic posters nailed or tacked on trees. 

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“Trees don’t vote. For the sake of life-sustaining trees, we appeal to all candidates and their backers to voluntarily remove campaign materials on trees,” the groups said in a joint statement.

Environmental advocate Father Robert Reyes of the NSCT likened the nailing of posters on trees to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, saying “The Roman executioners nailed Jesus to a tree.  Don’t candidates repeat the deadly act by nailing their posters on trees?”

“Yes, but instead of killing Jesus and us directly, they are slowly killing the trees. Genuine politics does not hurt or kill whether persons or trees,” he added.

Meanwhile, Zero Waste Campaigner of the EcoWaste Daniel Alejandre noted “that the nailing of posters and banners on trees is blatantly unlawful.”

The group cited 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.”

A similar prohibition is provided under the Presidential Decree 953 which penalizes a violator of imprisonment from six months to two years, or a fine of P500 to P5,000, or both at the discretion of the court.

The groups stressed that tacking or nailing campaign materials “could stress out trees and make them vulnerable to decay-causing micro-organisms, bad insects, and diseases causing stunted growth, shorter lifespan and premature death.”

“We have the shared responsibility to protect trees as they clean the air we breathe, store water and prevent soil erosion and floods, serve as homes for other living organisms, and provide us with food, medicine, paper, and other essential needs,” the groups said. /cbb

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TAGS: EcoWaste Coalition, elections 2019, National Coalition to Save the Trees, news
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