Labella runs after owners of billboards without permits

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

CITING public safety during the rainy season, Acting Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella ordered the Office of the Building Official (OBO) to inspect all billboards put up in the city.

He gave the instruction after he received several reports that several billboards were constructed in the city even without the necessary permits from City Hall.

These include electronic billboards, which is a common sight on Gen. Maxilom Ave. and Fuente Osmeña circle.


“In this connection, you are hereby directed to look into the matter by sending personnel of your office to conduct an ocular inspection and submit a report thereon to my office as soon as possible,” read Labella’s memorandum to Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) chief Engr. Jose Marie Poblete. OBO is under the DEPW.


Labella, also a lawyer, then invoked Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines.

Section 447 of the law gives power to local government units to regulate the display of signs, signboards, and billboards within its territorial jurisdiction.

In an interview, Labella said some of the illegally installed billboards are located pose danger to the public since they were put up in residential areas, mostly on top of houses or buildings.

“It’s already the typhoon season and I’m worried that they would fall. In Manila (when typhoon Glenda hit), there were falling billboards. We really have to stop it (illegal installation) for the safety of the public,” he said.

When asked where these illegally installed billboards can be found, Labella said he would rather not disclose the location until the OBO verifies it.

If OBO confirms that the construction of the billboards is not covered by permits, these would be demolished and sanctions would be imposed on their owners, he said.

The acting mayor also plans to meet with the advertisers association in the city to discuss his concerns.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 21, 2014.

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