SENATOR Francis Tolentino on Thursday lauded President Rodrigo Roa Duterte after signing an executive order (EO) that seeks to regulate advertising signs and billboards, citing safety and environmental concerns.
Tolentino, chairman of the Senate Committee Local Government has been long advocating against unsafe and illegally-constructed billboards, especially when he was still the chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
E.O. 165 which was signed last March 21 mandates owners and operators of existing signs and billboards to comply with side and height limits within two years. The move according to the chief executive will help reduce traffic distractions, urban decay, and environmental damage.
“This is long overdue. This only shows the President’s political will in ensuring the overall safety and welfare of our countrymen,” said Tolentino.
During his more than five-year stint in MMDA, Tolentino enforced the “Operation Roll Down, Baby”, and has led the crackdown against unsafe and illegally-constructed billboards and other advertising materials across the National Capital Region (NCR).
The MMDA under Tolentino in 2013 even came up with an agreement with advertisers–the Metro Manila Outdoor Media Magna Carta – to ensure public safety, orderliness, and the uniformity of outdoor billboard structures in Metro Manila.
Under E.O. 165, signs, billboards and structures must not exceed 250 square meters, while LED (Light-Emitting Diode) and other electronic signs must be at 55 to 250 square meters – and both categories should abide by the structural design and wind load exposure indicated under the National Structural Code.
Meanwhile, freestanding billboard structures are allowed to stand up to 36 meters (118 feet), for as long as it will not obstruct any public utility and fire exits.
E.O. 165 also specifies that the level of those roof-mounted billboard structures must not go beyond 26 meters (85 feet) in urban areas and 36 meters (118 feet) in rural areas.