By LITO RULONA
THE city council’s committee on ways and means has created a technical working group to work on amendments to the city’s 1998 Billboard Ordinance.
The city treasurer would serve as the group’s chair while the district engineers of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) would serve as vice chairpersons.
Other members of the technical working group are the city legal officer, city assessor and the local building official or their representatives.
Councilor George Goking, the city council committee’s chairman, said the technical working group were tasked to look into City Ordinance 6390-98 authored by former councilor Ramon Tabor and Juan Sia. The two decade-old ordinance regulates the construction and installation of billboards or similar structures, and imposes fees, and penalties of there are violations.
Goking said the fees for the billboards have to be increased, noting that the ordinance was passed 20 years ago.
Goking said there is also a need for city hall and the DPWH to agree on certain issues about billboards set up along the national highway. He said many billboards are not covered by permits from city hall but these were allegedly given the go-ahead by the DPWH.
“I know that the national highway is under the DPWH but the business aspect should be under the jurisdiction of city hall,” he said.
Councilor Reuben Daba said outdoor video advertising was non-existent in 1998 and that should be considered when the ordinance is amended.
Another proposal is to collect fees for every square meter of the display surface of billboards, business signs, electrical signs, projecting signs, roof signs, signboards and wall signs, among others.