The Quezon City government called on political aspirants to avoid using polyethylene or plastic campaign materials in compliance with City Ordinance 2202-2013.

In effect since 2013, the ordinance prohibits the use and installation of advertisements or propaganda materials made from plastic in Quezon City.

There are two commonly-used materials for campaign posters: Polyethylene (plastic) and PVC. The polyethylene types usually end up in creeks and esteros.

“Due to the volume needed during election season, plastic posters are everywhere as they are cheaper than PVC. But these are also the materials that litter the city for years after the elections are over,” DSQC Chief Richard Santuile said.

Santuile noted that plastic advertising and campaign posters are among the most frequently collected during their cleanup activities. “When the city banned these materials, it was because of their long-term negative impact on our environment. Even broken down or torn pieces increase the risk of flooding, especially now that heavy downpour is unpredictable and can happen even in the heat of summer,” he pointed out.

On March 7, the city government started removing illegal advertisements posted outside of common poster areas designated by the Commission on Elections.

According to Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) Chief Elmo San Diego, they already confiscated 24 truckloads (21 tons) of ads, including those that are made from plastic, this month alone.

“We can still see ads and posters made from plastic during our routine clearing operations. That’s why the city will ramp up our operations and penalize those who have violated the ordinance,” San Diego explained.

Penalties await persons or businesses violating the ordinance. For the first offense, the individual will receive a notice of violation; a fine of P3,000 and community service of three days for the second offense; and P5,000 fine and a three-day community service for the third offense.

Further, corporations violating the ordinance will receive a notice for the first offense; P3,000 fine for the second offense; and P5,000 fine and revocation of Mayor’s Permit to Operate for the third offense.

From today, April 1, candidates are given five days to voluntarily pull down or remove their plastic advertisement or campaign materials. Thereafter, the city’s law and order cluster will implement another round of clearing operation.

Candidates will then be given five days to claim their confiscated PVC tarps. However, all seized plastic paraphernalia, including unclaimed PVC posters, will be turned over for recycling to the Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Department’s (CCESD) Trash to Cashback program.

The city also urged QCitizens to report such violations, by filing a complaint thru hotline 122.