City says no money to remove illegal billboards

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Many billboards in Ho Chi Minh City have violated advertising regulations but the city doesn't have money to remove all of them, officials said at a meeting Thursday, the Tuoi Tre reports.


Nguyen Ngoc Phu, deputy chief investigator at HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said, "Violations in billboards have become widespread."


Phu said the city has imposed fines of more than VND3 billion (US$143,575) over the past nine months.


But the number of violations has kept increasing, he said.


Along the Hanoi Highway from Saigon Bridge to the Suoi Tien theme park, half of the billboards are illegal but local district governments always say they know nothing about them, Phu said.


He said construction investigators from the city districts should improve their monitoring of billboard constructions and district governments be more careful in giving permission for these kind of advertisments.


Nguyen Van Minh, deputy director of the department, said the city cannot remove the illegal ads as it doesn't have money to hire people to do that.


Minh said many billboards were built with billions of dongs and it would cost around VND200 million to remove one of them.


The billboards were so far built at locations chosen by the advertisement companies and proposed to the district governments.


Officials at the meeting said there should be a better system to manage the locations for billboards and prevent illegal advertising activities in the future.


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