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Outdoor advertisers urge dads to resolve billboard law repeal

The Outdoor Advertising Association of the Philippines (OAAP) has urged the City Council to resolve their request to repeal the billboard regulation ordinance.

In a letter addressed to the Secretary of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Charito Santos, OAAP officer Alex Montanez said the organization is requesting for a resumption of the hearings on their request to repeal the ordinance.

The City Council earlier deferred the hearing of the request as they could not discuss an item still pending at the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court, in an April 17, 2018 decision, has ruled in favor of the city government against the Davao Billboard and Signmakers Association (Dabasa) on the prohibition to install outdoor advertisements that block the view of vital tourism spots in the city.

“It is in this respect that we are requesting the resumption of the hearing of the committee as we have already received the finality of the decision of the Supreme Court,” Montanez said.

The organization assured the committee of their cooperation during the proceedings.

The item stems from an almost-20-year-old case between outdoor advertisers and the city government, which passed in 2000 an ordinance regulating outdoor promotion materials.

In the ordinance, the city is prohibiting outdoor advertisements that block the view of Mt. Apo, Samal Island, and other tourism spots.

The case, according to Supreme Court documents, named then City Administrator Wendel Avisado and then City Engineer Leoncio Evasco as petitioners and Montanez, doing business under the name APM or Ads and Promo Management, and representatives of Dabasa as respondents.

In its decision, the SC stressed that the city council “has a wide discretion to determine not only what the interests of the public require but also what measures are necessary for the protection of such interests.”

Ordinance 092-2000 – the ordinance regulating the construction, repair, renovation, erection, installation and maintenance of outdoor advertising materials – also prescribes fees on outdoor ads, among others.

According to Section 8 of the ordinance, among the regulated areas are the bridge approach areas within 200 meters of the city’s Bolton, Generoso, and Lasang bridges.

Montanez’s letter request was passed on first reading on Tuesday’s session, and will be forwarded to the committee on rules, privileges, laws, and ordinances chaired by J. Melchor Quitain.

City Councilor Mabel Acosta earlier pushed for the demolition of billboards along Bolton and Bankerohan bridges that obstruct the view of Mt. Apo following the Supreme Court decision.

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