November 23, 2015
MMDA WELCOMES COURT OF APPEALS DECISION ON BILLBOARD REGULATION
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Emerson Carlos today welcomed as “a reaffirmation of the Filipino’s moral values and principles” the ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA), overturning the decision of a Makati City trial court which stopped the MMDA from regulating the issuance of permits for billboards and advertising signs along major and secondary thoroughfares in the metropolis.
“This is a welcome development on the part of the MMDA, which is tasked also to clear ads signs and gigantic billboards which not only oftentimes distract motorists and serve as eyesores in the Metro Manila skylines but also give lewd subliminal messages,” Carlos said.
He said that the MMDA’s legal victory is also a “reaffirmation of the Filipino’s moral values and principles.”
It can be recalled that former MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino had drawn flak from certain groups when he opened the way for the agency to regulate the billboard industry which fortuitously resided change in any form whatsoever.
“If in the process of revamping the industry entrenched interests bite back, the MMDA will still do what is best for the common good,” Carlos said.
Carlos also expressed confidence that the CA ruling would set a precedent in the other cases lodged by private companies against the MMDA, questioning the authority of the agency in issuing permits for billboards and advertising signs.
“We hope that the ruling will also be a precedent in cases against the MMDA, with the courts deciding in favor of the agency,” he said.
The appellate court earlier junked the previous ruling Makati City Regional Trial Court branch 58, which stripped the power of the MMDA to regulate the issuance of permits for billboards and advertising signs.
In a 21-page decision, the CA dismissed the petition for declaratory relief filed by the three advertising firms – Summit Publishing Company Inc., Bigboard Advertising Corporation and Sygoo Enterprises— against the MMDA, ruling that the Makati court committed a grave abuse of discretion.
The MMDA and the Department of Public Works and Highways has signed a memorandum of agreement, deputizing the former to implement provisions of the National Building Code that regulates the issuance of clearances to applicants of billboard permits.