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THIRTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
First Regular Session

S E N A T E
S. B. No.1714
______________________________________________

Introduced by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago

______________________________________________

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Constitution, Article 2, Section 9, provides:

The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide xxx an improved quality of life for all.

Billboards and signs constitute a separate and distinct use of the land upon which they are placed and affect the use of adjacent streets, sidewalks and other public places and adjacent private places open to the public. The unregulated construction, placement and display of billboards constitute a public nuisance detrimental to the health, safety, convenience and welfare of the residents of the city.

The proliferation in number, size and manner of outdoor advertising unreasonably distracts operators of motor vehicles and promotes confusion with regard to traffic lights, signs, or signals or other interference with the effectiveness of traffic regulations and is therefore hazardous to highway users. The excessive and inadequately controlled proliferation of billboards visible from highways endangers the uniqueness of our state and our communities and our scenic beauty.

Tourism and trade from both resident and nonresident highway users is an essential part of our economy. Tourist-oriented directional signs and logo signs offer businesses cost-effective means of announcing their presence to the highway users without harm to our state’s scenic beauty.

The erection and maintenance of new outdoor advertising signs, displays and devices in areas adjacent to Interstate highways, primary highways, and all state roads should be prohibited in order to protect the public investment in such highways, preserve the state’s scenic beauty and distinctiveness, and promote the general health and welfare of the motoring public.

This Act seeks to regulate all billboards in order to:
1. reduce traffic hazards caused by such unregulated signs which may distract and confuse, and impair the visibility of, motorists and pedestrians;
2. ensure the effectiveness of public traffic signs and signals;
3. protect property values by ensuring the compatibility of property with that surrounding it;
4. provide an attractive visual environment throughout the country;
5. protect the character and appearance of the various neighborhoods in the city; attract tourists to the country;
6. protect the public investment in streets, highways, and other public improvements; and protect and improve the public health, safety, and general welfare.


MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO

THIRTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
First Regular Session

S E N A T E
S. B. No. 1714
_______________________________________________

Introduced by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago
_______________________________________________

AN ACT
REGULATING THE PLACEMENT OF BILLBOARDS SIGNS

SECTION 1. Short Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Anti-Billboard Blight Act.”

SECTION 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is the declared policy of the State to ensure an improved quality of life for all, and to protect the scenery and environment.

SECTION 3. Definition of Terms. - As used in this Act the term:
(1) “Billboard” means an identification, description, illustration, or device which is affixed to or represented directly or indirectly upon a building, structure, or land and which directs attention to a product, place, activity, person, institution or business.
(2) “Off-Premise Billboard” means a business billboard which directs the attention of the public to the business or activity conducted or product or service sold or offered at a location not on the same premises where such business sign is located.
(3) “DPWH” means the Department of Public Works and Highways.
(4) “MMDA” means the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
(5) “DOT” means the Department of Tourism.

SECTION 4.
Regulation of Off-Site Signs and Billboards. - Any off-premise sign erected after the effective date of this Act shall comply with the following standards:
(1) No billboard shall be located in a position that obstructs or obscures the view of vehicular or pedestrian traffic in such a manner as to endanger the safe movement thereof.
(2) Each billboard shall be set back at least twenty-five (25) feet from any road or street right-of-way line, measured from the closest part of the billboard.
(3) No billboard shall be located within one thousand (1,000) feet of any interchange, within one thousand (1,000) feet of any right-of-way of any underpass, overpass, bridge or tunnel, or within one thousand (1,000) feet of any street intersection.
(4) All billboards shall be erected in conformity with the front, side and rear yard requirements of the district in which they are located.
(5) No billboard shall be erected within a one thousand (1,000) feet circumference of the nearest property line of any of the following: historic site, school, church, hospital, retirement or nursing home, cemetery, governmental building, public park, playground, recreation area, convention center or any area in which billboards are prohibited.
(6) No billboard shall be permitted whenever property zoned as residential would be between the sign and the roadway toward which it is oriented.
(7) No part or foundation or support of any billboard shall be placed on, in, or over any private property without the written consent of the property owner.
(8) No part or foundation or support of any billboard shall be placed on, in, or over any public property, including public rights-of-way, or any utility or drainage easement, or upon telephone or utility poles, or natural features such as trees and rocks.
(9) No billboard shall be erected or maintained upon or above the roof of any building structure.
(10) No billboard shall be constructed on a lot where it obscures or shades the windows or doorways of adjacent buildings.
(11) No two billboards located upon, or oriented towards traffic traveling upon, the same side of a public street or road with four or more lanes shall be spaced less than two thousand (2,000) feet apart; on the same side of public streets or roads with less than four lanes, the spacing shall be no less than one thousand (1,000) feet apart. This distance shall be measured along a straight line between the two nearest points of the signs. The minimum spacing requirement shall not apply to two panels viewed from different directions which share a common support structure. Nor shall any billboard be located within a one thousand foot (1,000 ft.) radius of any other billboard even though the two billboards are on different streets.
(12) No billboard shall exceed three hundred (300) square feet in total surface display area.
(13) Billboards may be single-faced or double-faced but no billboard shall contain more than one face on each side of the display and the surface area shall not exceed a total area of three hundred (300) square feet per structure [face].
(14) No billboard shall be permitted which, because of its size, shape, or location, may obscure or obstruct the view of vehicular or pedestrian traffic or be confused with any authorized traffic control sign, signal, or device.
(15) No billboard shall be permitted which, because of its size, shape, or location, may impair any scenic vista from the highway or a building adjacent to the highway or to the billboard.
(16) No billboard shall exceed fifty (50) feet in height. This distance shall be measured from ground level at the base of the billboard's support system to the highest point of the billboard.
(17) Lighting: No billboard shall be illuminated by any means.

SECTION 5.
Permit Fee and Inventory of Billboards. -
(1) As of the effective date of this Act, the annual fee for a billboard permit for a new construction of a billboard shall be Seven Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (P7,500.00).
(2) The DPWH in coordination with the MMDA shall use additional revenues resulting from subsection (1) to conduct a thorough countrywide inventory of all billboards, including plotting the exact location of each sign, determining whether or not each sign has a valid permit from the DPWH, MMDA and any local government agency charged with regulating billboards.

SECTION 7. Assisting Entities. - In compiling this inventory mentioned in Section 6, the DPWH shall cooperate with billboard permit holders, local governments, the MMDA, non-governmental organizations and citizens groups concerned with scenic conservation and transportation.

SECTION 7. Development of Official Business Directional Signs. - The DOT is directed to develop, construct and contract with public and private entities for the construction and maintenance of official business directional signs in addition to any such signs currently operated by the DOT. The DOT shall consult with scenic conservation groups, businesses and business organizations, and local governments to facilitate the development of these signs in such a way as to allow businesses to reach the traveling public without the deleterious impact of billboards on scenery.

SECTION 8.
Separability Clause. – If any provisions or part hereof, is invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of the law or the provision not otherwise affected shall remain valid and subsisting.

SECTION 9.
Repealing Clause. - Any law, presidential decree or issuance, executive order, letter of instruction, administrative order, rule or regulation contrary to or inconsistent with, the provisions of this Act is hereby repealed, modified, or amended accordingly.

SECTION 10.
Effectivity Clause. - This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Approved,


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