By LITO RULONA
The Office of the Building Official (OBO) revealed that at least 150 billboards installed around CM Recto Avenue and other barangays in the city have no permits from City Hall and violated some provisions of the National Building Code.
Acting-OBO in-charged Arch. Maria Concepcion Alcantara during the meeting at the City Council’s Committee on Ways and Means chaired by City Counclor George Sio Goking disclosed that majority of the billboards installed around the city have made major violations in the National Building Code of the Philippines otherwise known as PD 1095.
On the same meeting, Alcantara said they initially informed billboard installers in the city to follow the provisions under the law and possibly coordinate with OBO on acquiring local permits but failed.
“Actually, we already conducted inventory of billboards from Barangay Iponan to Bugo and found that only 10 percent of these the permits. Majority of them cannot comply with the set requirements which is 100 meters from the national and local roads,” she said.
She said they had initial meetings with the installers and advertisers that the city government will provide areas to have them installed their billboards but City Councilor Lordan Suan butted in who represented the entire business sector.
“Councilor Suan ask the OBO that they will organized first but until now there is no development. Ingon siya nga wala pa sila na-organized,” she said.
She said the six-month period given to them has already expired.
“Nagpahiwatig sila nga dili sab sila ma-demolish kay naa man daw korte. Mo-required gyud kita og structural engineer nga dili sila safe,” she added.
City Legal Office representative Atty. Antonio Resma, Jr. said Councilor Suan claimed standing billboards were not covered by the 100-meter set-back as mandated by the national building code.
“Ma-demolish man kini sila kung dili gyud sila structured safe. Illegally constructed man kini sila kay wala man sila mo-require sa requirements. Wala sila mo set back og 100 meters from the highway,” he said. .
City Councilor Romeo Calizo, chairman of the Committee on Safety claimed that accounting of billboards should be conducted immediately to determine violations and penalties should be imposed immediately.
“We should pass an appropriate ordinance about this concern. I will prepare a special report on this and have this discussed in the plenary. Those violators should be sanctioned to have them demolish or they would pay appropriate penalties,” he said.
He said appropriate action should be taken and let local laws be implemented. Immediate inventory should be made to implement local orders.
Goking, for his part, claimed that some installers have violated payments on the size of their billboards they have installed as provided by the national law. The City Treasurer Office is still conducting on-going verification of the outdoor billboards.
He said those found to have installed with no permits should be subjected for immediate demolition.
“Kadtong dili ma-demolish ipabayad sa ilang penalties,” he added.