End is near for annoying late-night videoke sessions if…
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Order and Safety has begun tackling a bill seeking to limit the use of sing-along and other sound amplifying equipment between 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. in residential areas.
The measure, proposed by Quezon 4th District Rep. Angelina Tan, aims to prevent unnecessary disturbance to residential areas, as well as to stop the negative social and health effects of such activities.
Under House Bill No. 1035 – “An Act Prohibiting the use of Videoke/Karaoke systems and Other Sound Amplifying Equipment that Cause Unnecessary Disturbance to the Public within the Residential Areas, and Providing Penalties Therefor” – the operation of such equipment audible within 50 feet distance from the source should be considered as evidence.
Other equipment enumerated in the bill were radios, CD players, television sets, amplified musical instruments, and loudspeakers.
Regardless of the occasion, Tan said individuals or groups would only allowed to use or operate such equipment from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
According to the measure, any person or business entity violating the rule would face a fine of P1,000 or an imprisonment of not more than six months, or both, based on the discretion of the court.
For succeeding offenses, both penalties would apply, in addition to the revocation of the license to operate a business, Tan said.
If the violation is committed by a corporation, partnership, association, or similar entity, the president, general manager or most senior officers would be held liable, she added.
During the committee hearing on Tuesday, Tan stressed the need for national legislation on the issue, saying it “has not only caused quarrels and divisions among our neighborhoods but also death to some individuals.”
Ruby Palma, volunteer from Friends of the Environment in Negros Oriental (Fenor), underscored that the “proliferation of videoke business gave rise to serious neighborhood quarrels,” and has “compromised the resting time especially of children, pregnant women and the elderly.”
Palma suggested five points to be added to Tan’s bill:
- designation of areas where videoke/karaoke and similar equipment would be allowed
- requirement of structural sound-proofing
- setting maximum sound volume level
- setting maximum time use for private and home use of equipment
- monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of the law’s implementation
Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. also suggested the specific decibel level to be allowed under the bill.
“Kasi pwede kung ano yung loud sayo, pwedeng hindi sa kanya dahil bingi sya,” he said.
Antipolo City 2nd District Rep. Romeo Acop, who also chairs the committee, pointed out, however, that the existing presidential decrees already addressed noise pollution.
But Tan acknowledged in her bill these existing anti-noise pollution laws – such as the Philippine Environmental Code (Presidential Decree No. 1152) and the National Pollution Control Decree (PD No. 984).
But she said these laws did not “squarely address President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy pronouncement of enforcing a 10 p.m. ban on videoke/karaoke singing.”
Under PD 1152, “appropriate standards for community noise levels” as well as “limits on the acceptable level of noise emitted from a given equipment for the protection of public health and welfare” should be established.
Duterte earlier pressed local government units to stamp out noisy late-night karaoke sessions.
The President has also imposed the same ordinance when he was mayor of Davao City. /atm
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