THE Cebu City Anti-Indecency Board (CCAIB) has ordered a concert organizer to pull out the last of three billboards advertising comedian Vice Ganda's concert in Cebu.
TSE Live Inc. was instructed by City Administrator and CCAIB Chairperson Lucelle Mercado to immediately remove the concert billboard placed in front of a public high school on Juan Luna Ave. in Barangay Mabolo.
"Kinahanglan matangtang rong adlawa (The billboard should be removed within the day) or else we will impose a penalty of P5,000 per billboard per day," Mercado said citing City Ordinance 1408, which prohibits publishing of indecent materials.
Mercado described the billboard as “sexually suggestive” as it shows Vice Ganda in a provocative gown surrounded by shirtless men.
The other two billboards in Barangays Kamputhaw and Mabolo were already taken down by TSE Live last Monday night after the CCAIB order.
Several complaints from concerned citizens and religious groups prompted Mercado to make this an urgent matter since waiting for a board resolution will take time.
Mayor Michael Rama said there is no need to wait for a resolution, “police power” comes in on issues of customs and public policy, especially on the element of morality.
"The state has to come in before the minds of children can be destroyed," Rama added.
"It's not just the CCAIB working on it, the mayor ordered its removal because he received numerous complaints, which he forwarded to me,” said Mercado.
When the two billboards were removed, Mercado said she received text messages thanking her for the move.
The complaints from concerned citizens prompted City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas to check if the organizers have the permits to hold the concert.
She was surprised to learn that other than the P5,000 that the organizers paid for the special permit, the City Government will not earn anything from the event.
The City cannot collect any amusement tax, which is supposed to be 10 percent of the ticket sales, because the City Council approved a resolution exempting the organizers from paying the tax.
"I was planning to send some of our personnel to the concert venue to check the used tickets because that's where we will base the amount of amusement tax we will collect, but I found out they got full exemption. So it's useless to send our people there," Cuevas said.
In a separate interview, Mercado lamented that it's ironic for an R-13 concert to be advertised indecently out in the open, where children can see it.
Aside from outdoor advertising through billboards, Vice Ganda's concert is also heavily-exhibited in newspapers, but Rama said they will no longer be implementing their removal since these are only viewed by a particular audience and not by everyone, unlike billboards.