DAVAO City Councilor Mabel Acosta urged the 18th City Council to revisit the Ordinance 092, Series of 2000, otherwise known as the Signage Ordinance, of the city especially after observing that this is grossly violated.
The Signage Ordinance prohibits obstruction of the view of Mt. Apo and the Island Garden City of Samal by billboards.
Acosta, during the privilege hour Tuesday, said the review of the ordinance implementation is one of the highlights of the recent committee hearings conducted by the Committee on Rules, Privileges, Laws and ordinances last May 17, where she presented the items for consideration.
“Both the chair on the committee on rules and yours truly, expressed concern on the very lenient implementation of the ordinance. Despite express provisions of Ordinance 092 prohibiting the construction and erection of billboards within a 200-meter radius from Generoso Bridge, Bolton Bridge [and] Lasang Bridge, billboards were still erected near the said areas,” Acosta said.
She said the main purpose of the prohibition was to prevent the obstruction of the view of the Mt. Apo and Samal Island, adding that when one crosses the bridges, giant billboards will be seen within the 200-meter radius.
Acosta said proper and strict implementation should be observed and the scope of the ordinance needs to expand to keep the spirit of the law to preserve the cultural and historical significance of the two cultural landmarks.
“What if it is not a giant billboard that obstructs the view of Mt. Apo, but a tower or a building? If we are serious with the intent of the law, this ordinance needs a serious assessment,” Acosta said.
She also added that stiffer penalties may be introduced to give more teeth to the laws, such as but not limited to bigger fines, imprisonment, and community service.
Acosta made a request that concerned government agencies which allowed the billboards to be erected within 200-meter radius of the bridge be invited to attend the next committee hearing on the particular item to hear their side regarding violations of the signage ordinance.
Apart from the review of Signage Ordinance, Acosta, who is the committee on publications chair, also recommended the revocation of two ordinances passed in year 1960, and 1975 which prohibit the use of Pinball and jukeboxes within public markets.
The councilor also sought for the updates and possible merging of the ordinance passed in 1991 which respectively bans the display of obscene pictures and an ordinance passed in 1992 banning the selling of obscene publications and showing of indecent shows and pornographic films disapproved for public exhibition and regulations admissions to movie houses.
She also requested for the updating of ordinance No. 130 Series of 1989, and Ordinance No. 332 series of 1968, which respectively prohibit the posting of propaganda materials in the city streets, and also prohibit the defacing, scribbling and or writing on the walls of public and private buildings and or fences exposed to public view.
Acosta also recommended for the committee hearing and invitation to consult the agencies concerned for the Ordinance No. 095, Series of 2000 which is an ordinance requiring all food establishments such as but not limited to restaurants, canteens, food outlets, hotels, caterers and hospitals as well as food manufacturers or processors to use only iodized salt, Ordinance 086, Series of 2000 otherwise known as “ an ordinance enacting the Red Tide Monitoring and Quarantine Ordinance of Davao City,” and Ordinance No. 1329, Series of 1993, known as “an ordinance penalizing recruiters, pimps, funhouses, operators, and customers who victimize women to commit a life of prostitution and other lewd activities.
Acosta also suggested that the three ordinances passed in 1989, 1967 and 1974 should be compared to the recent ordinance which may have repealed the previously passed ordinances. (KVC)
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on May 24, 2017.
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