After court orders MMDA to leave billboards alone, OMAG continues push for outdoor media law

MANILA – November 25, 2013 – The Outdoor Media Advocacy Group (OMAG) can rest bit easier after a Makati Regional Trial Court issued an injunction preventing the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) from “universally implementing and enforcing…issuances regarding billboards by the MMDA and other government agencies.”
However, OMAG Executive Director, Atty. Troy Banez said the group continues to move for the passage of a law "that is truly reflective of and responsive to the rightful role that outdoor media plays in the Philippines."
“Outdoor media has evolved since the NBC was enacted in 1946 and the ARR was laid down in 2007. What we urgently need is a law on outdoor media that is set in the context of the here and now, even as it presciently peers into the technological, economic and environmental landscapes of the future,” Banez said in a statement, which was issued following the October 25 court order.
According to OMAG, the order further prevents the MMDA from “confiscating, rolling down and/or demolishing or otherwise dismantling the billboards of Petitioners and all other entities similarly engaged in the business of outdoor media advertising on the basis of non-compliance.”
The injunction was issued in response to a petition by members of industry association (OMAG), who testified that the MMDA’s issuances were inconsistent with existing laws that govern the industry, which are the National Building Code (NBC) and its Amended Rules and Regulations (ARR). 
The group further claimed that the MMDA refused to recognize the existing permits for their respective billboard sites, and proceeded to dismantle these, causing them significant business losses.
Banez explained that the injunction, though filed by the OMAG members, also protects all other outdoor media companies from the MMDA.
“This is an important development not just for OMAG – but for the rest of the outdoor media industry in the Philippines, whose very existence was being threatened by the extra-legal issuances and actions of the MMDA,” Banez said.

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