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Gatchalian wants MTRCB to regulate billboard advertisement, not MMDA

Photo by Sofia Core

A veteran lawmaker has opposed a legislative measure in the House of Representatives to let Metro Manila Development Authority or MMDA regulate contents of billboard advertisement.


Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian said such advertising materials should instead be managed by the Movie Television Review and Classification Board or MTRCB.


In a hearing before House Committee on Public Information, Gatchalian contested a provision in House Bill No. 1407, which was filed by Northern Samar Rep. Harlyn Abayon.


In his bill, Abayan proposes to put MMDA in charge of monitoring billboard advertisement content, but Gatchalian argued that MTRCB is the more appropriate agency to conduct the regulation.


“This (H.B. 1407) wants to regulate the content of any forms of structure that has obscene of destructive content. Basically, it aims to regulate what is on those structure,” Gatchalian said.


“We have to understand that content is different from the structure. And that content is a concern of MTRCB, not MMDA,” he added.


The former Valenzuela City mayor also pointed out that MMDA’s powers only covers billboards in Metro Manila, whereas MTRCB has the entire country within its scope.


This prompted Gatchalian, who authored House Bill No. 4947 or the “Video Game and Outdoor Media Regulation Act”, to request for the conduct of a sub-committee hearing that would reconcile Abayon’s H.B. 1407 and Gatchalian’s H.B. 4947.


In his bill, Gatchalian proposed to give the authority and power to manage billboard advertisements to MTRCB due to its mandate to “promote a value-oriented media and entertainment culture”.


Gatchalian’s bill is currently being consolidated in a technical working group (TWG) with other similar measures on expanding the function of MTRCB. (Tim Alcantara)