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MMDA files another urgent motion

After strong winds tear down a defective Makati billboard structure

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will file another urgent motion today before a Makati City seeking permission to be permitted to roll down tarpaulins on billboards along Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue (EDSA) and other major thoroughfares in the metropolis.

This developed after two persons were injured when a structurally defective billboard structure fell on three vehicles in Makati City as fierce winds and heavy rains spawned by typhoon “Pedring” pummeled the metropolis.

The filing of an urgent motion is also a part of the agency’s preparation on the possibility of arriving storm.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), another tropical depression has developed into a storm that has been given an international code name of “Nalgae,” the Korean word for wings.

Once it enters the country the weather bureau said it will be given the local name “Quiel.”

“We are hoping that this time, the court (Makati RTC Branch 133 Judge Elpidio Calis) will heed and take action to our motion for this is for the safety of the public,” said MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino.

Before typhoon “Pedring” hit the metropolis, the MMDA sought the court’s permission to remove tarpaulins from billboards along major thoroughfares in the metropolis prior to the onslaught of typhoon “Pedring.”

However, the agency failed to get the court’s nod since court did not issue any order.

Calis earlier issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the MMDA and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) from carrying out its anti-billboard crackdown.

The MMDA and the Outdoor Advertising Association of the Philippines (OAAP) which filed the injunction case have agreed to a status quo during the last court hearing on the case.

Tolentino said they want to avoid the said toppling of the billboard structure, with tarpaulin on it, saying incident could have been averted if tarpaulin was rolled down.

Based on their investigation, the billboard that was toppled was “structurally defective.”

For its part, the Outdoor Advertising Association of the Philippines’ (OAAP) rectified that it was an arc frame of the Makati government and not a billboard that fell.

“We just like to clear that it is not a billboard frame intended for regular billboard advertising. It is an arc frame owned and maintained by the Makati local government. The term “billboard” used in news created again a negative impact in the industry. We advised our members and even non-members to roll down billboard tarps and almost 100% have complied to show and express our common concerns for public safety,” Ed Acosta, OAAP president. (Anna Liza T. Villas)