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PIA Press Release

1,500 signages, billboards removed by DPWH in La Union

by Jessie R. Valdez

San Fernando City, La Union (13 October) -- Prior to the Administrative Order No. 160 of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo directing all Regional Directors, District Engineers, along with other concerned agencies and LGUs to inspect all billboards along major thoroughfares and national highways to determine those that are public hazards, DPWH Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr, has already issued same memorandum before the onset of rainy season.

The DPWH Secretary’s memorandum dated March 3, 2006 did not only cover on billboards but included the identification of critical road sections, repair on heads/approaches of bridges, and other obstructions considered hazardous to the health and safety of the general public.

In compliance with the directive, a pre-disaster and thorough inspection started here last April 2006 by DPWH Region I Engineers Romeo Ramos, OIC Chief Maintenance Division and Benigno Bareras, Engr. II.

According to the report of the DPWH team, as of August 15 this year, a total of 1,495 signages/billboards were removed on living trees/electric posts covering areas from Manila north road, Bacnotan-Luna-Balaoan, San Fernando City-Bagulin road and San Juan-San Gabriel road, Rosario-Pugo; Rabon Damortis, Bauang-Baguio and Agoo-Baguio City roads. Also, a total 1,284 trees were pruned on priority areas: The report remarked that these two activities are still ongoing.

In San Fernando City alone, based from the records of the City Engineer’s office headed by Engr. Leocadio Balanon, Jr., out of 9 billboards inspected, only one was recommended for demolition, the O.T. Enterprise.

Just like any other city ordinance on billboards, it prohibits those that tend to obstruct traffic signs, endanger the safety of the traveling public or property, obscene pictures and many others.

Under the Ordinance on tax, Article E which pertains to the imposition of tax on every person who shall display signs and billboards and any other kind of materials shall only be issued a Mayor’s permit after all requirements had been fully accomplished and approved as to: written application, description, maximum allowable size, zoning clearance, duration and others.

Penalty imposed to a person who violates any of the provisions of this Article shall be punished by a fine of not exceeding P1,000.00 or imprisonment of 3 months or both at the discretion of the court.

Meanwhile, the report also indicated that there were 11 defective bridge heads/approach in La Union and recommended funding for improvement, repair and construction. (PIA La Union) [top]

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