The Deal with 1000 feet


While I was on a taxi going home, I heard in the radio that the Anti-Billboard Blight Act (otherwise known as Senate Bill 1714) by Senator Miriam Santiago regarding the complete eradication of billboards in the Metro was approved immediately after she presented it to the Senate.

This was of course a reaction to the destruction of Milenyo, a storm that hit the Philippines two months ago. With its strong winds, it toppled a couple of billboards along EDSA and other parts of Manila, killing a number of people and injuring others. Not to mention, the properties that were damaged like houses, buildings and cars. These collapsed structures also hampered the restoration of power in the affected areas.

I was able to watch the speech delivered by the Senator entitled “We Are Living in a Billboard Hell” after the storm, and in some way she is right. The irresponsible advertising agencies, who have not constructed their billboards according to construction guidelines have brought destruction during the storm.

Senator Miriam Santiago emphasized that no billboard will be seen or erected within 1000 feet from any road, any property, any building. The radio commentator even said jokingly that if this was to be implemented, the only place where billboards will be seen will be in the jungle.

In my opinion, why destroy or cripple an industry that obviously contributes to the economy of the Philippines? Advertising has been a key element in putting products forward and ‘bringing’ the product to the masses.

If you ask me, I’d rather implement a law that will regulate the construction of these billboards rather than eradicate them completely. If only the government made sure that all billboards were constructed according to standards, I’m pretty sure the damage brought forth by Milenyo would have lessened. I’m no engineer nor a construction worker, but I do know that in order for buildings or infrastructures to remain standing, there must be a strong foundation and materials must be strong.

So, what’s the deal with this 1000 feet beside, below, next to, etc? I say we’ll have empty streets and another crippled industry. If only we know the real problem, then lives will be safeguarded and destruction to property will be prevented.

Let me add that this is a typical reaction in the Philippines. A plan is only devised when lives have been lost, there has been damage to property, etc. Why plan when all is lost? Why not plan ahead so as to prevent this from happening? Tsk tsk tsk.

Something's Amiss

Took this shot in NCLEX near the toll gate. As you all can see, gone are the tarpaulin banners…

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