Solon wants to prohibit the posting of billboards and political propaganda on trees

Solon wants to prohibit the posting of billboards and political
propaganda on trees

Posting of billboards, commercial advertisements and political
propaganda on trees along highways and major thoroughfares will soon
be prohibited.

Rep. Angelo Palmones (Party-list, AGHAM), author of House Bill 3539,
said billboards, advertisements and political propaganda posted on
trees and similar plants along highways not only impair the landscape
but also damage the nature.

Palmones said trees and similar plants are planted along highways,
roads and streets and also in public places such as parks to improve
the landscape in addition to providing ecosystems services.

“Trees and similar plants reduce pollution by absorbing carbon dioxide
and emitting oxygen, reduce temperature, prevent soil erosion, reduce
or prevent the impacts of strong winds. Especially in public places
such as parks, they provide areas for relaxation, leisure and for rest
and contemplation and areas where one can be by oneself,” Palmones
said.

Palmones said these acts are predominant during election periods where
all types of materials are attached to trees and other places.  Since
trees along highways are very visible they are favorite places for
posting of advertisements.

“Depending upon the manner of posting, the bark of trees is damaged
and the wounds become avenues for the entry of fungi and other
infections that could lead to the decay and death of the trees,”
Palmones said.

“These acts should be prevented and perpetrators should be made
accountable for their actions,” Palmones added.

The measure to be known as the “No Billboards and Advertisements on
Trees and Similar Plants on Highways and Public Places Act,” prohibits
the posting of bills and advertisements on trees and similar plants
found along national highways, provincial and municipal roads and
other streets and also those found in public places such as national,
provincial, city and municipal parks.

First time violator shall be fined with P2,000 for posting on a single
tree, P4,000 if on two trees and so on.  For a second offense, the
fine on the first offense is doubled while the punishment for the
third offense is tripled with imprisonment for 12 months or both.

Furthermore, for the fourth and succeeding offenses, the punishment is
double the previous fine or imprisonment.

Palmones said the fines are payable to the local government units
(LGUs) where the offense took place and the income derived from the
said fines will accrue to the city and municipality where the offense
occurred, provided that the provincial government shall have a share
of 30% of the income.

Palmones said to ensure the protection of trees and similar plants
planted on highways and public places, the public is enjoined to
report to the police who in turn will report to the municipal/city or
provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO) or the
nearest office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR).

“The State shall promote to the highest degree possible the
involvement of all sectors of society in the protection and prevention
of damage of these trees in order to attain the benefits they provide
such as reducing pollution and carbon dioxide in the air and in the
amelioration of temperature as well as provide areas for leisure, rest
and contemplation,” Palmones said.

The bill mandates the DENR and the Department of Interior and Local
Government (DILG) to implement the rules and regulations of this Act.

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