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MALACANANG

Manila

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 160

DIRECTING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS (DPWH) TO CONDUCT FIELD INSPECTIONS, EVALUATIONS AND ASSESSMENTS OF ALL BILLBOARDS AND DETERMINE THOSE THAT ARE HAZARDOUS AND POSE IMMINENT DANGER TO LIFE, HEALTH, SAFETY AND PROPERTY OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND TO ABATE AND DISMANTLE THE SAME.

WHEREAS, it is the declared policy of the State to protect life, health, safety and property and to promote the general welfare that are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy;

WHEREAS, there is a proliferation of billboards of all shapes and sizes along the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila and other cities and in national highways in the provinces and other areas in local government units (LGUs);

WHEREAS, the recent typhoon Milenyo which hit the country with strong winds showed that some of these billboards are of sub-standard condition because they easily collapse, as they did to the detriment of the life, health, safety and property of the general public;

WHEREAS, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has announced the coming of another typhoon named Neneng and six (6) other typhoons are expected to hit the country until the end of this year;

WHEREAS, upon the recommendation of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), there is a need to immediately respond to the effects of the calamity brought about by Typhoon Milenyo and other typhoons expected to come in the next months in order to prevent the same occurrence of toppling of billboards resulting in death and injuries, blocking of roads and cutting of posts and wires of electricity and other utilities.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL – ARROYO, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law and the Constitution , do hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with the assistance of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the various local government units (LGUs), in view of the six (6) typhoons or more expected to hit the country, to conduct field inspections, evaluations, and assessments of all billboards, commercial or non-commercial, nationwide starting with Metro Manila and other areas directly affected by the path of Typhoon Milenyo for the purpose of abating and dismantling (a) billboards posing imminent danger or threat to the life, health, safety and property of the public; (b) billboards violating applicable laws, rules and regulations; (c) billboards constructed within the easement of road right-of-way; and/or, (d) billboards constructed without the necessary permits.

SECTION 1. Tasks of the DPWH. The DPWH is hereby tasked to:

1.1 Conduct field inspection and determine (a) billboards posing imminent danger or threat to the life, health, safety and property of the public; (b) billboards violating applicable laws, rules and regulations; (c) billboards constructed within the easement of road right-of-way; and (d) billboards constructed without the necessary permits. Priority shall be given to billboards located along major roads in Metro Manila and other cities and other national highways and major thoroughfares as determined by the DPWH;

1.2 Upon evaluation and assessment, issue a certification as to those billboards found to be hazardous and violative of existing standards prescribed by the National Building Code, Structural Code of the Philippines and other related legal issuances furnishing copy of the certification to the LGUs concerned which have jurisdiction over the location of the billboards;

1.3 Abate and dismantle those billboards, commercial or non-commercial, constructed on private or public properties found to be falling under any and all grounds enumerated in paragraph as above;

1.4 Submit a detailed written report to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to serve as basis for the possible filing of appropriate administrative, civil or criminal cases;

1.5 Call upon the Philippine National Police (PNP) to provide assistance in the dismantling of billboards and other off-site signs declared as covered under paragraph 1.1 above.

SECTION 2. Assistance by MMDA and LGUs. The Metropolitan Manila

Development Authority (MMDA) and/or the concerned LGUs are hereby directed to give full support and assistance to the DPWH for the immediate inspection, assessment and abatement of billboards found to be hazardous and violative of the National Building Code, the Structural Code of the Philippines and related issuances.

The MMDA and the concerned LGUs are directed to submit to DPWH within five (5) days from effectivity hereof an inventory of all billboards existing in their respective territorial jurisdiction, whether or not a permit was duly granted for the construction of the same, that have been the subject of inspection and evaluations.

SECTION 3. Creation of a Special Task Force. The DPWH shall create a Special Task Force composed of the representatives from the DPWH, DOJ and MMDA who shall evaluate the findings of DPWH and shall proceed to investigate owners of billboards and public officials for the purpose of determining the filing of appropriate civil, criminal or administrative cases, including the recovery from the owners of these billboards the cost and related expenses in the abatement subject to existing laws and with due regard to due process.

SECTION 4. Abatement of Nuisance or Hazardous Billboards. Upon

determination by the DPWH that a particular billboard found within national highways and major thoroughfares in Metro Manila and key cities as determined by DPWH is a nuisance or hazardous pursuant to paragraph 1.1 hereof, it shall abate and dismantle the same in accordance with the law.

LGUs are directed to strictly enforce the laws and regulations on the construction and maintenance of billboards, and pursuant to the Local Government Code, declare, prevent or abate nuisance billboards found within the local roads in their territorial jurisdiction unless the DPWH has already initiated abatement proceedings against the owner of, or any party having interest in, the billboard in accordance with the immediately preceding paragraph.

The abatement and dismantling of nuisance billboards shall be at the expense of the owners or any party having interest thereof.

SECTION 5. Review of existing laws, rules and regulations. The DPWH shall review the existing laws, rules and regulations and recommend to Congress, appropriate legislation, if any, and/or issue stricter rules and regulations on the construction and maintenance of billboards, including the designation of specific place for the construction of billboards consistent with the National Building Code within fifteen (15) days from effectivity of this Administrative Order.

SECTION 6. Funding. An initial funding of Ten Million Pesos (P10,000,000.00) for the purpose of implementing this Administrative Order shall be sourced from the Calamity Fund.

SECTION 7. Effectivity. This Administrative Order shall take effect immediately after its publication in a national newspaper of general circulation.

DONE in the City of Manila, this 6th day of October in the year of Our Lord, two thousand and six.

GLORIA M. ARROYO

By the President:

EDUARDO R. ERMITA

Executive Secretary

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