Another Vice Ganda billboard removed; concert to proceed
ANOTHER billboard advertising gay comedian Vice Ganda’s upcoming concert was taken down by organizers yesterday morning.
The concert, dubbed “Vice Gandang-Ganda sa Sarili sa Cebu (Eh di Wow!),” will go on as scheduled on July 19, organizer TSE Live, Inc. said.
City Administrator Lucelle Mercado, also head of the Cebu City Anti-Indecency Board (CCAIB), said smaller promotional materials like posters and newspaper advertisements will not be prohibited.
“Ang nakadaot man gud ba kay dako kaayo ang billboard (The problem was that the billboards are huge) and it’s out in the open. Naa sa dalan unya ang tanang mga bata makakita. Ang ubang posters nga gagmay, dili lang nato daginuton (It’s along the road and all the children can see it. We won’t go after the smaller posters),” she said.
The billboards, which were installed about two weeks ago, showed a blonde Vice Ganda in a sexy red dress surrounded by topless men. The comedian was also shown holding a shrimp.
BACKSTORY: Billboard ‘too sexy’ for City Hall
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the decision to order the removal of the billboards was a demonstration of City Hall’s police power.
“Will you wait for things to happen? There are things that are per se. Police power na na sya when you talk about customs, public policy especially on the element of morality, the state has to come in before minds, especially children, can be destroyed,” he told reporters yesterday.
The billboard in barangay Mabolo was put up across the Florencio Urot Memorial School in full view of public high school students.
Two other billboards, which were put up along Juan Luna Ave. near the Ayala access road and on Escario St. near the Camputhaw barangay hall, were taken down by organizers earlier.
Rama said he received complaints about the billboard, which he forwarded to Mercado, who then gave a verbal order to remove the materials.
Mercado said she acted in her capacity as chairperson of CCAIB and didn’t wait for a formal board meeting to discuss the issue. She said she also received text messages complaining that the billboards were “sexually suggestive.”
She said it’s ironic that organizers and Vice Ganda himself gave the concert a rating of R-13, but the promotional ads were seen even by younger children.
Mercado encouraged the public to report anything posted or published that are deemed indecent.
Based on records from the City Treasurer’s Office, the concert has an approved mayor’s permit. The city has received P5,000 from the local organizers.
The event, which will be held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel, has been exempted from amusement tax based on a city council resolution.
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