MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) -- The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Saturday appealed to outdoor advertisers to take down their billboards the soonest time possible.
Public storm signal no. 1 remains hoisted over Metro Manila as tropical storm "Gorio" has maintained its strength, packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.
PAGASA said Gorio is expected to bring moderate to heavy rains over Metro Manila starting Sunday morning.
"This is part of their contract with the MMDA when we gave them clearances to put up their billboards," MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino told ANC Saturday noon.
Tolentino said he would rather have the operators bring down their billboards themselves, noting that he does not want the agency to be blamed for any damage on the tarpaulins.
"We do that sometimes but we appeal to the billboard operators to comply with their responsibility because sometimes we damage the tarps and we don't want to be blamed for that," he said.
Tolentino also said the MMDA is now preparing for possible flooding on Metro Manila's roads.
As of 4 p.m., several billboards along EDSA-Balintawak, Kamuning and Cubao have been taken down. -- With a report from Robert Mano, dzMM