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PIA Press Release

Cebu advertisers appeal to PGMA to spare Cebu from "sins of Manila"

by Roberto M. Cabardo

Cebu City (6 October) -- The Outdoor Advertising Association of the Philippines (OAAP) Cebu Chapter has manifested its appeal to the President to spare Cebu from the sins of Manila (billboard owners).

Mary Ann Solomon, OAAP Cebu Chapter President, said that Cebu has already implemented what Manila billboard owners still hope to achieve.

"Cebu has always been a step ahead. For while Manila is still requesting to sit as part of the Signboard Committee in local government units, we (in Cebu) have been a member of the Signboard Committee of the Cebu City Council since early 1990's yet particularly after typhoon Ruping devastated much of Cebu. Besides, as early as 1973, we already had regulations put in place. Also, on almost on a daily basis, we regularly check with PAG-ASA as to the weather and wind gustiness so we can roll down our billboards if needed," she said in an interview this morning.

Solomon added that she respects the President�s initiative but she still hopes the government will reconsider its plan to implement it nationwide for it will affect not only themselves in the billboard industry but also the local government units, thousands of employees and businesses, adding that while Metro Manila billboards have dimensions that far exceeded what is allowed, Metro Cebu only has much smaller billboards that does not exceed the 40 ft. x 60 ft. allowable dimension.

OAAP-Cebu Chapter has already met with the local government of Mandaue City in relation to the billboard issue and is to meet with the DPWH, Lapu-Lapu City and Talisay City officials in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Building Official (OBO) of Cebu City for its part is now requesting the Cebu City Council to pass a resolution that aims to implement much stringent rules on billboard construction.

Engr. Nilo Lastimado said that OBO�s request is for better guidelines and rules that billboard owners must follow to prevent similar disaster Metro Manila to happen in Cebu.

Lastimado also disclosed that there was only one incident in the past that a billboard of popular foreign shoe brand atop a building in Gen Maxilom Avenue collapsed in 2004. "Luckily, it only damaged the property but did not lead to loss of lives," he said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Central Visayas for its part said that they are still waiting for the copy of the Administrative Order 106 issued by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo early this week as well as the department order from its Central Office for the implementing rules and regulations about the billboards.

Based on estimates made by OAAP-Cebu Chapter, Metro Cebu has over a hundred billboards at present having most of them in the vicinities of Mandaue and Cebu City. (PIA Cebu) [top]

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