By Chito Chavez
In a bid to erase the tag as the nation’s poster capital, members of the Quezon City Council asked the city government to immediately remove all propaganda materials hanging on electric and cable wires in the locality regardless of their political affiliation.
Councilors Victor Ferrer Jr., Eufemio Lagumbay, Ranulfo Ludovica, Allan Francisco and Allan Benedict Reyes suggested that the city’s Environment Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) be responsible for the removal of political tarpaulins and advertising paraphernalia in the city’s first, third and fourth districts.
The Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) and the Parks Development and Administrative Department meanwhile will take charge of the city’s second, fifth and sixth districts.
Political posters have started to sprout all over the city and have become a grave national concern particularly with the start of the campaign period for national elective posts for the May 2019 mid-term elections on Tuesday.
With this nagging nightmare every election campaign period, the public, mostly motorists, demanded that immediate measures should be taken suggesting that jail terms and stiff fines be imposed against the violators.
The City Council said the city’s Engineering Department can provide the support in terms of equipment and vehicles that may be needed during the operation.
Motorists insisted that the city government should impose stiffer penalties to violators citing that returning the seized tarpaulins and issuing mere warnings may not be enough to discourage them from complying with existing laws like city ordinance number SP-1444, S-2004, city ordinance number NC-153, S-1990 and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) resolution number 02-28.
A Commission on Elections (Comelec) official in Quezon City said there is a need to come up with new elections laws to decrease the workload of the local government units (LGU), the poll body and other concerned agencies in dismantling or bringing down illegal streamers, posters, tarpaulins, and other advertising propaganda.
He suggested that candidates be barred from putting up any political signs, streamers or any form of advertisement in any place with the Comelec charging each political bet as part of their expenditure an appropriate sum for their names to be included in the poll body’s lists of national and local electoral hopefuls.
“All the names of the national and local bets will be included in the publication. No candidate will be allowed to hang, post, or paste any form of political advertisement in any place,’’ the election official noted.
Those who will be caught will be fined and subjected to community service for at least 30 days.
“The ploy will hopefully discourage the supporters of any rogue candidate to place campaign materials of any political bet because of the penalty,’’ the Comelec personnel added.
Another way to minimize the proliferation of political advertisements is to heavily penalize candidates whose campaign materials are not placed in the designated poster areas.
Supporters of the political aspirants caught hanging or posting political banners, streamers and other election materials in unlawful areas will also be fined and subjected to community service. #MatalinongBoto2019