Editorial | Decluttering the city

THE CITY government scored a major victory after the Supreme Court junked the petition of the Davao Billboard and Signmakers Association to stay the demolition of the giant billboards along Quimpo Boulevard and Sandawa (G.E. Torres Street).In 2000, the Sangguniang Panlungsod passed the Signage Ordinance, which specifically prohibits the construction of billboards within a 200 meter radius from Bolton Bridge, Governor Generosos Bridge and Lasang Bridge.

The ordinance was crafted to allow the unhampered view of Mt. Apo, Davao River, Island Garden City of Samal and Davao Gulf.

Before, when you drove along the stretch of Quimpo Boulevard approaching Bolton Bridge you would have been greeted by the majesty of the Mt. Apo. Now, you’d be lucky to see spot the country’s tallest peak in all its splendor without being hidden by clouds and the giant advertisements.

While it would be easy to say that giant billboards can contribute to distracted driving, the studies just don’t support this claim. Although it’s a different case altogether for those dynamic advertising and LED billboards, especially at night when the glare from the giant screen can be blinding.

Of course, we’re not asking for a total ban on outdoor advertising. We can concede that billboards add color and jazz up the city.  They also help improve and protect lives as in the case of state-sponsored giant billboards warning of the signs of cigarette smoke.

But there needs to be a balance between delivering a message to keeping down the distraction and clutter. If any local government is guided by the zoning ordinance to harmonize the areas of development, we have to also regulate these billboards to maximize their effectiveness and declutter the city at the same time.3cartoon




Posted in Opinion