How about dead­line to re­move posters?

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Opinion - BY: NINI CABAERO @nini­cab

THE dead­line for the fil­ing of state­ments of con­tri­bu­tions and ex­pen­di­tures (Soce) should come also with an ul­ti­ma­tum for elec­tion can­di­dates to re­move their posters and tar­pau­lins.

A month af­ter the May 13, 2019 polls, the streets are still marked by the dirty, torn posters and tarps on fences and walls. What is the dead­line for them, those whose names and faces are seen on fences, to re­move their posters and tarps? None.

The Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions (Com­elec) has a dead­line for the fil­ing of Soce by win­ning and los­ing can­di­dates. That dead­line was orig­i­nally set for June 12 but, be­cause it is Philip­pine In­de­pen­dence Day, a hol­i­day, it was moved to June 13. The post­pone­ment gives can­di­dates one day more to com­ply.

The Com­elec has no dead­line for the re­moval of all those cam­paign ma­te­ri­als that re­mained even a month af­ter the ex­er­cise. What the Com­elec has is a rule on the re­moval of il­le­gal cam­paign ma­te­ri­als that go be­yond the size lim­i­ta­tions or those posted out­side the des­ig­nated ar­eas. “Op­er­a­tion Bak­las” was held to re­move or dis­man­tle those il­le­gal posters and tar­pau­lins. This dead­line was for the start of the cam­paign pe­riod.

Im­me­di­ately af­ter the elec­tions, the cleanup fo­cused on re­mov­ing those piles of sam­ple bal­lots and leaflets in ev­ery vot­ing cen­ter but the ef­fort was not sus­tained or ex­panded to in­clude the walls not only of schools but also of other ar­eas. Let can­di­dates re­move their dirt by the time they file their Soce.

As can­di­dates were not given a dead­line to re­move the eye­sore, an al­ter­na­tive is for the Com­elec to as­sign, as part of its pow­ers, the lo­cal govern­ment unit or the De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works and High­ways or De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion to do a cleanup be­cause can­di­dates are un­re­li­able when it comes to re­mov­ing cam­paign ma­te­ri­als af­ter the elec­tions.

Cre­ate a new dead­line. By the time they filed their Soce, they should have al­ready re­moved all their ma­te­ri­als. Those who failed to meet the dead­line should not be al­lowed to as­sume the post.

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