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PIA Press Release

Ad group declares Cebu billboards safer than Manila

By Minerva BC Newman

Cebu City (11 October) -- The Outdoor Advertising Association of the Philippines-Cebu Chapter declared yesterday that the estimated 100 billboards in Metro Cebu are relatively safer than those in Manila.

Mary Ann Solomon, president of the association said, "We are a step away compared with Manila. Giant and monster billboards that are common in Manila are not allowed in Cebu. Cebu City in particular has been active in ensuring that billboards are sturdy."

Earlier, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inspected the clearing of billboards destroyed by typhoon Milenyo that were being undertaken jointly by the DPWH and the MMDA. Under Administrative Order 160, the DPWH was 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."

Solomon on the other hand said, they fully support AO-160 that aims to regulate outdoor advertising after Milenyo. "This will help weed out advertisers who construct billboards without complying with guidelines set by Cebu and Mandaue and by the National Building Code," Solomon went on.

"We are now making an inventory of all the billboards in Cebu and we will do an ocular inspection. We hope to meet with the DPWH and OBO so we will strategize and we will come up with an effort to monitor and to make an inventory and check all the billboards in Cebu," Solomon explained.

In the national scene, DPWH Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane said the billboard clearing operations nationwide will be pursued without letup and its 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. According to MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando, 99 percent of the fallen billboards collapsed during the typhoon because of structural deficiencies.

Outdoor advertisers group in Cebu hopes though that the National Government will not generalize and include Cebu in crafting guidelines for billboards as the industry here is already highly-regulated.

Solomon concluded that it was unlikely that any billboards in Cebu would collapse because "as a precautionary procedure, even when there are no storms, we also check with PAGASA for wind gustiness, and when winds are strong and could possibly rip tarpaulin advertisements, members send personnel to roll them up. (PIA-Cebu) [top]

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