"Silent night' ordinance in city proposed

BAGUIO CITY September 12 – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance declaring it unlawful for any person to make or cause excessive, unnecessary or unusual loud sounds from audio devices within residential areas and public streets and for other purposes.

The ordinance which will also be known as the city's 'Silent night' ordinance authored by Councilor Edgar M. Avila stated effective upon the approval of the measure, it will be unlawful for any person to make or cause excessive, unnecessary, or unusual loud sounds from audio devices within residential areas, subdivisions and public streets from 10 pm to 5 am daily.

However, the ordinance added that using videokes or karaokes, a favourite local past time, may be allowed until 12 midnight provided that residents concerned will secure a permit from the concerned punong barangay 5 days before the intended use and commit to keep the volume of the system at acceptable levels.

Further, the ordinance pointed out that loud sounds, music or noises will not be tolerated in places within 200 meters from schools, places of worship, and hospitals.

Violators of the pertinent provisions of the ordinance shall be penalized with the issuance of the necessary verbal order which will be given to violators to tone down the noise, however, if the violation is deemed excessive, a fine of P1,000 or imprisonment of up to 6 months or both shall be imposed for the first offense, a fine of P3,000 for the second and a fine of P5,000 for the third and succeeding offense.

Under the proposed ordinance, audio devices will include karaokes, videokes, amplifiers, and musical instruments, among others, while unreasonably loud noise is referred to as operating, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, CD player, television set, amplified musical instruments, drums, loud speaker, videoke or karaoke system or other sound-producing device in such manner or with such volume to annoy the quiet and comfort of a reasonable person of normal sensitivities in any dwelling or residence, or with louder volume than is necessary for the convenient hearing of the persons who are in the place in which such device is operated.

Moreover, a sound may also be considered too loud if it is plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from its origin.

The ordinance stipulated people look forward to going home after a hard day's work or after school and expect an evening of rest, peaceful bliss or good nights' sleep in the city's cool climate.

At same time, the author claimed people are deprived of their well-deserved peace because of rowdy, noisy parties or gatherings in the neighbourhood, and neighbors and strangers who take for granted the well-being of others and think only of their own enjoyment, thus, the need to effectively and efficiently address the basic community concern.

The ordinance claimed, more often than not, disputes stem out of these issues which even result to violent, injury and damage to property.

By Dexter A. See

 
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