New MMDA office to screen content of billboard ads
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has created an office that will regulate advertising billboard content using the new implementing guidelines it signed on Friday.
The Billboard Office, which will be headed by Marikina Mayor Del de Guzman, “shall exercise appellate or oversight function to review and regulate all advertising signs along major thoroughfares of Metro Manila,” according to one of the three implementing guidelines on billboards signed and issued by MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino.
“All advertisers, owners and operators of billboards shall, in accordance with self-regulation adhere to their respective group or association’s Code of Ethics for advertising and promotions,” it added, saying the office may, on its own accord or upon a filed complaint, review the contents of any billboard advertising signs.
The MMDA, previously, was only involved in the structural aspect of billboards as stated in the National Building Code. Its interest in screening billboard contents came after a complaint from Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos prompted the removal of an underwear ad featuring members of the Philippine Volcanoes, the country’s rugby team, on Edsa-Guadalupe several weeks ago.
This was followed by the removal of several other outdoor advertising billboards that showed models in skimpy outfits. The MMDA stressed that the signs were rolled down for violation of the building code.
The MMDA also issued two other separate guidelines that deal with the issuance of structural and locational clearances and billboard size and height requirements.
One of the guidelines provide that local government units, through the Office of the Mayor, shall issue locational and structural clearances or permits within their respective jurisdictions.
The local chief executives could also order the demolition or removal of signs that violate any law or ordinance, enlisting the assistance of the MMDA if necessary.
The MMDA on the other hand, shall enforce and implement the National Building Code provisions on billboards along major and national thoroughfares falling within its jurisdiction.
The regulation also provides for setback requirements, imposes a 100–meter minimum radius between signs and prohibits roof signs.
Billboard and billboard structures shall not be allowed along Roxas Boulevard and Macapagal Avenue, while in all other areas in Metro Manila, the height limits for billboard and billboard structures shall be determined by the local government units.
Meanwhile, all billboard owners are required to submit their existing permits to the MMDA and their respective local government units for verification and validation.
The three guidelines regulating billboards and advertising signs along major and national thoroughfares within Metropolitan Manila were released after a final consultative meeting held at the MMDA and attended by Mayors De Guzman, Sherwin Gatchalian (Valenzuela), Aldrin San Pedro (Muntinlupa), Herbert Bautista (Quezon City), Jaime Medina (Pateros), Vice Mayor Luis Bustamante (Las Piñas) and a representative from the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.
Representatives from the Outdoor Advertising Association of the Philippines (OAAP), the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), the Ad Standards Council (ASC), the Advertising Board of the Philippines (AdBoard), the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies—Philippines (4As) and other representatives of billboard operators and advertisers also participated in the consultation.