Press Release
July 19, 2011

Legarda: Stop Postering on Trees, Pushes for More Green Spaces

Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change today urged that we stop killing our trees by strictly prohibiting the postering of different bills on them and instead develop open, green spaces and mini-forests similar to the great cities of the world like Berlin and Sao Paolo and countries like Singapore and Vietnam.

"What we need in every empty space are more trees that would breathe in carbon dioxide emissions and exhale clean oxygen that we can breathe."

Legarda one of only two awarded in Asia as the United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia Pacific, (the other being the President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) cited that in 2007, for example, the world's fourth-largest metropolis, Sao Paulo, in Brazil effected a near-complete ban on all outdoor advertising.

"Sao Paulo's Clean City Law was an unexpected success, owing largely to the singular determination of the city's conservative mayor, Gilberto Kassab, who overcame objections from the advertising industry."

Legarda cited, "In the United States, four states-- Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii, and Maine --have prohibited billboards. Vermont's law went into effect in 1968. Hawaii's law went into effect as early as in 1927, Maine's in 1979; and Alaska's law went into effect upon its achievement of statehood in 1959."

"In the state of Colorado alone, there are several cities where billboards are totally banned. These are Black Hawk, Central City, Credted Butte, Georgetown , Glenwood Springs, Green Mountain Falls , Greenwood Village , Las Animas, Palisade, Parachute, Rangely, San Luis, Steamboat Springs, Telluride, Vail, Winter Park , and Yuma."

"In the United Kingdom, billboards are controlled as part of the planning system. To display an illegal billboard is a criminal offense with a fine of up to L2500 per offense. All of the large UK outdoor advertisers such as CBS Outdoor, JCDecaux, Clear Channel, Titan and Primesight have numerous convictions for such crimes."

"Meanwhile, in Toronto, Canada, a municipal tax on billboards was implemented in April 2010. A portion of the tax will go to help fund arts programs in the city. Paris, France is also starting to do a crackdown on these visual garbage."

"Here in the Philippines, we have allowed our skyline to be covered with giant billboards some with models covered only by skimpy underwear that send subliminal messages."

Legarda concluded, " I support the initiatives of Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino in dismantling illegal billboards. Let us put a stop to surrounding ourselves with these billboards which are life and property threatening especially during natural calamities, instead let us promote having healthy green cities by making trees fill our landscapes."

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