House bill seeking ban on billboards during typhoons passes 2nd reading

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 23) -- The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on second reading a measure which will prohibit the display of commercial billboards during typhoons.

The lower chamber passed House Bill 7174 or the Bawal Billboard Tuwing Bagyo Act, a public safety measure for motorists and pedestrians.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and a number of local government units already require the removal of billboards amid threats of typhoons to mitigate billboard-related accidents.

But under the proposal, all billboards should automatically be taken down or switched off, if electronic-based, within 12 hours from an official release of a Typhoon Signal No. 1 bulletin "or any other significant weather disturbance" by PAGASA. The ban shall be in effect for the duration of the weather disturbance.

If signed into law, a billboard operator or anyone who fails to comply with the measure will be subject to a fine of not less than ₱300,000 or imprisonment of at least six months to one year.