The House of Representatives approved on second reading on Tuesday, February 23, a bill banning the active use and display of commercial billboards during typhoons.
House Bill 7174 or the “Bawal Billboard Tuwing Bagyo Act” won unanimous approval during viva voce voting as lawmakers underscored the need to impose the ban to keep the public safe during the onslaught of a typhoon.
HB 7174 consolidated legislative proposals filed by Deputy Speaker and CIBAC Partylist Rep. Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” C. Villanueva and Reps. Alfred Vargas (PDP-Laban, QC) and Domingo C. Rivera (CIBAC Partylist).
Citing a report of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Vargas said there has been a rising number of commercial billboards on roads in Metro Manila, mostly erected in major thoroughfares.
“The continued use of billboards during typhoons pose (sic) a threat to general public safety and are thus necessary to be regulated and mitigated,” said Vargas.
Under HB 7174 billboard operators are mandated to take down all advertising materials within 12 hours from an official announcement or release of a Typhoon Signal No. 1 bulletin.
To be taken down are tarpaulin-based billboards while electronic-based bill boards will have to be switched off.
The bill provides that the prohibition will take effect for the duration of the weather disturbance.
Penalties will be imposed on billboard operators or any person who violates the provisions of the bill. A fine of not less than P300,000 or imprisonment of six months to one year will be imposed on the guilty party.