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EDITORIAL: Wide open spaces

AFTER more than two decades, we can finally behold the beauty of our city’s natural landscape, the cottony peak of Mt. Apo early in the morning, the gentle slopes of the Island Garden City of Samal across the strait and the lush vegetation in some parts of the city.

The removal of the giant billboards along McArthur Highway and in the downtown area lends more space to the city, emerging from the restricting visual barriers that have been here for so many years. We can now see, while crossing the Gov. Generoso Bridge, the horizon where the river and sea meets. Driving home to the southern part of the city, we can watch the cloaked silhouette of Mt. Apo looming ahead like a sentinel.

The implementation of the two decades old Signage Ordinance of Davao came two years after the Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality.

Known as “An Ordinance Regulating the Construction, Repair, Renovation, Erection, Installation and Maintenance of Outdoor Advertising Materials and For Related Purposes,” it was passed on August 8, 2000. However the owners of the billboards filed a case in court challenging Sections 7, 8, 37, and 45 in the ordinance which regulate the placement of billboards to ensure unobstructed line of sight in residential areas and the designation of bridge approach areas as “regulated areas.”

Mayor Sara, in her regular radio show over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Friday said that the City Engineers Office started to remove the billboards since owners failed to do it themselves.

It’s going to be a refreshing sight once the city is clear of all the visual obstacles.

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