DAVAO City Councilor Mabel Acosta urged the demolition of billboards along Bolton and Bankerohan bridges that obstruct the view of Mt. Apo as the decision of the Supreme Court regarding an existing city ordinance that prohibits billboards from hindering the view of the mountain had already been released early this year.
Acosta said they came across a case filed in March of 2006 by then City Engineer Jun Evasco Jr. and then City Administrator Wendel Avisado against the Davao Billboard & Signmakers Association (Dabasa), Inc. when they reviewed items for revision for publication of the revised code of ordinances in Davao City.
After the Regional Trial Court (RTC) granted the respondent’s petition of injunction and declaration of nullity of City Ordinance No. 092-2000 or the Signage Ordinance of Davao City and the order of demolition dated March 17, 2006, the Court of Appeals supported this.
However, in February 21, 2018, the Supreme Court released a decision that reversed and sets aside the previous decisions of the RTC and the Court of Appeals. Because of this, Acosta said the city ordinance should remain and be implemented as there are still no related amendments made yet.
“They will be up for demolition because there is already a Supreme Court decision. They have been enjoying for several years being there. Maybe it’s about time that we really give importance to the natural resources that we have,” she said.
She also said Mt. Apo’s majestic view should be accessible to Dabawenyos traversing through the bridges and not just for the privileged few who are living and working in tall buildings in the city.
When asked about the amount of revenue that these billboards contribute in the city’s economy in the form of taxes, Acosta said they would need to talk with the City Treasurer’s Office for the definite figure. She, however, underscored
that what is more important than money is the respect given to both Mt. Apo and the implementation of an existing local ordinance.
“It is not about getting money from the businessmen. It is about giving honor and respect due to Mt. Apo. So if everyone will build billboards, everyone will obstruct the view of Mt. Apo, we do not give the honor and respect the mountain deserves, which is actually an icon of Davao City,” she said.