PGMA inspects billboard clearing operations launched by DPWH, MMDA
Manila (9 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inspected this morning the clearing of billboards destroyed by Typhoon "Milenyo" being undertaken jointly by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
Under Administrative Order (AO) 160, which the President signed on Oct. 4 in the aftermath of the "Milenyo" calamity, the DPWH has been directed to determine which billboards "pose imminent danger to life, health, safety and property of the general public and to abate and dismantle the same."
DPWH's findings and recommendations are expected to serve as the basis of new regulations on the putting up of billboards with public safety as the overriding consideration.
Upon arrival at the corner of Taft Avenue and Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Pasay City, the President was met by DPWH Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane and MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando who had arrived earlier to supervise the clearing operations.
Ebdane and Fernando briefed her on the status of the clearing operations and other steps to be taken to clear the metropolis of billboard jungles.
The President witnessed the brief picture presentation of the progress of the ongoing clearing operations in different parts of Metro Manila, including C-5 in Taguig City , Pasig City , EDSA and the South Luzon Expressway.
Fernando said yesterday (Sunday) that 99 percent of the fallen billboards collapsed during the typhoon because of structural deficiencies.
Meanwhile, Ebdane said the billboard clearing operations nationwide will be pursued without letup.
The DPWH official was reacting to reports that his agency had caved in to requests by billboard owners and operators to stop temporarily the dismantling of illegal billboards.
The DPWH will pursue relentlessly the dismantling of illegal billboards throughout the country, he vowed. (PIA-MMIO) [top]