Issue of March 11, 2018
     
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2017
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Proposed ‘Silent Night’ edict goes thru public consultation
by Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO

The city council approved on second reading the proposed “silent night” ordinance which sought to prohibit persons from making or causing excessive, unnecessary, or unusually loud sounds from audio devices within residential areas and public streets in the city.

Councilor Edgar Avila, who authored the measure, said the proposal was subjected to a public hearing and the suggestions as well as the recommendations gathered during the deliberation by the city council were incorporated in the draft measure.

The proposal was premised on the fact that “people look forward to going home after a hard day’s work or after school and expect an evening of rest but at times, they are deprived of the well-deserved peace because of noisy parties or gatherings in the neighborhood and neighbors and strangers who take for granted the well-being of others and think only of their own enjoyment.”

“More often than not disputes stem out of this charades which even result in violence, injury and damage to property, thus a need to address this basic community concern,” Avila stated in the measure.

The measure will make it “unlawful for any person to make or cause “excessive, unnecessary, or unusually loud sounds” from audio devices within residential areas, subdivisions, and public streets” from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Audio devices would include Karaokes, videokes, amplifiers, and musical instruments while a sound would be considered too loud if it is plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from its origin.

“Unreasonably loud noise is operating, playing, or permitting the operation or playing of any radio, CD player, television set, amplified musical instrument, drums, loudspeaker, videoke or Karaoke system, or other sound producing device in such manner or with such volume that annoys the quiet and comfort of a reasonable person of normal sensitivities in any dwelling or residence; or with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing of the persons who are in the place in which such device is operated.”

The proposal however may allow the use of videokes or Karaokes until midnight provided that the resident concerned would secure a permit from the punong barangay five days before the intended use and commit to keep their volume to “acceptable” levels.

Other exemptions would be during the Christmas season provided that schools have declared their respective holidays or from Dec. 16 of the year and Jan. 2 thereafter; during the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day observance, and other holidays defined as national or local holidays; the Baguio Flower Festival celebration; during wakes subject to the permit requirement and such other occasions as may be deemed by the punong barangay as applicable also subject to the permit requirement.

The ordinance would be implemented by the punong barangay in coordination with the chairperson of the peace and order council of the barangay and the Baguio City Police Office.

A verbal order would be given to violators to tone down the noise. However, if the violation is deemed excessive, violators will be subjected to a fine of P1,000 or imprisonment of up to six months, or both shall be imposed on first offense; P3,000 on second offense; and P5,000 on third offense.


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