With 205 affirmative and zero negative votes the House of Representatives passed on third and final reading the legislative proposal prohibiting the active use and display of commercial billboards during typhoon.
Four congressmen abstained from the voting.
Approval of House Bill 7174 or the “Bawal Billboard Tuwing Bagyo Act” was strongly endorsed by the House Committee on Disaster Resilience following unanimous panel voting last month.
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).
Vargas lauded the House leadership under Speaker Lord Allan Velasco for putting the measure in the priority list of legislation of the chamber.
Vargas said a report published by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism has indicated a rising number of commercial billboards on roads in Metro Manila, mostly erected in major thoroughfares.
“The continued use of billboards during typhoons pose 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 violate the provisions of the bill. A fine of not less than P300,000 or imprisonment of ix months to one year will be imposed on the guilty party.