ILOILO City – The provincial government of Guimaras is going after noisemakers that cause public disturbance.
The recently-approved Ordinance No. 2023-04 regulates the use of videoke or sound-amplifying devices and prescribes corresponding penalties to violators.
Any person found creating or causing publicly disturbing noise will be meted with a P3,000 fine or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both, at the discretion of the court.
Vice Gov. John Edward Gando who authored the ordinance said the provincial government aims to improve public health by regulating any sound which unreasonably injures or endangers the comfort, repose, peace and safety.
Acts causing public disturbance noise
The following acts are deemed to be causing publicly disturbing noise and therefore prohibited:
* the operation, playing or permitting the operation or playing of any loud sound generated from videoke, karaoke system, radio, CD player, television set or sound amplifying equipment or device such as musical instrument, drums, loudspeaker or other sound producing device within areas and along public streets or road sides which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the health, comfort, peace, serenity and safety of the public
* the frequent, repetitive or continuous sounding of a horn or siren attached to a motor vehicle, except as necessary or a warning of danger or as specifically permitted or required by law
* sound from motor vehicles audio systems, such as radio and compact disc player, operated at a volume so as be audible greater than twenty feet from the vehicle itself
* noise from motor vehicles as a result of the customization and/or modification of its mufflers/exhaust pipe or horn
Factors to consider
In determining whether a sound is a public disturbance, the following factors must be considered:
* time of the day, proximity to residential structures
* whether the noise is recurrent, intermittent, or constant
* volume and intensity
* whether the noise has been enhanced in volume of range by any types of electronic or mechanical means
* character and zoning area
* whether or not the noise is subject to being controlled without unreasonable effort on the part of the creator thereof.
Under the ordinance, any public disturbance noise which is audible to the human ear shall be at a distance not exceeding twenty feet from the property line of the noise source.
Use of videoke or amplified audio devices shall be allowed only with a clearance from the barangay and which shall not exceed 10 p.m. throughout the week.
The barangay may charge, through an ordinance passed, a reasonable barangay clearance fee.
This issuance of a clearance signed by the punong barangay shall describe the nature of the intended activity, specific location and type of audio device to be operated or used and the period of time for which such device may be operated or used.
It shall specify such other terms and conditions as are essential to secure and protect the public safety.
The barangay shall not issue a clearance for the operation or use of videoke or sound amplifying device if or when it is:
* at any location within 200 meters of a school or place of worship during the hours of school or worship respectively, or within 200 meters of any hospital or other institution caring for the sick or infirmed
* at any location where the barangay, upon investigation, shall determine that the conditions of vehicular or pedestrian traffic or both are such that the operation or use of videoke or sound amplifying devices in any property or public street or road side will constitute serious hazards to the safety and comfort of pedestrians or vehicles operators
* at any location where the barangay, upon investigation, shall determine that the conditions of overcrowding or other physical conditions are such that the operation or use of videoke or sound amplifying devices in any property or public streets or road side will deprive the public, particularly those within their residences, of the reasonable right to safety, serene, and peaceful environment.
The prohibitions shall not apply to regular and/or official scheduled events at parks, churches, schools, or government offices or premises, as well as during Fiesta, Foundation Day celebrations, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and other religious occasions or celebrations.
Also exempted are activities permitted and/or allowed by the government to include the local government units.
Establishments whose line of business pertains to videoke or karaoke shall likewise be exempted, provided that it shall ensure the containment of its sound within its premises and subject further to the regulations imposed by the municipal government and other authorities./PN