House panel tackles bill vs late-night karaoke, loud sound systems
MANILA, Philippines – The House panel on public order and safety on Tuesday, March 13, begins tackling a bill that seeks to bar the use of videoke or karaoke machines, or other sound-amplifying devices when they "cause unnecessary disturbance to the public within residential areas."
House Bill 1035, filed by Quezon 4th District Representative Angelina Tan, seeks to make it illegal for “any person or business establishment to cause unnecessary disturbance to the public.”
Under the proposed bill, playing or operating of radios, CD players, televisions sets, amplified musical instruments, drums, loudspeakers, videoke or karaoke systems, or any other similar sound-amplifying equipment will only be allowed from 8 am to 10 pm, all 7 days of the week.
The bill is scheduled for committee discussion nearly two years after it was first filed in July 2016 and referred to the committee in August 2016.
Why the ban? In her explanatory note, Tan said “unusually loud sounds from videoke/karaoke systems…during unholy hours” causes “serious discomfort” that ultimately becomes bad for public health and welfare.
Tan said that although there are existing laws that protect the public against noise pollution, none of them match President Rodrigo Duterte’s desire to enforce a 10 pm ban. This policy is already in place in Davao City, where Duterte was mayor.
What’s in the law? Tan defines several key terms and provisions in the bill, including:
- Sound amplifying equipment - Any machine or device that is used for the amplification of the human voice, music, or any other sound.
- Unnecessary Disturbance - Any noise or sound that annoys or disturbs; or that creates an actual and imminent interference with peace and good order and is perceived by a reasonable person or ordinary sensibilities as interrupting the natural tranquility and calm of the area; or disturb, injure, or endanger the health or safety of the public
- Videoke or karaoke system - Any audio-video equipment operated and built to produce images and or lyrics of a song on a television screen to afford a person to sing along using any electronic device.
The guidelines are as follows:
- Causing “unnecessary disturbance to the public” would be illegal
- Playing of sound-amplifying devices would be banned beginning 10 in the evening up to 8 in the morning
- Prima facie evidence is when the sound from a sound-amplifying machine is “plainly audible” 50 feet from the place its in
Sanctions include a P1,000-fine or imprisonment of 6 months at most, or both. Succeeding violations may include the revocation of a business license. The president, general manager, or senior officers of a corporation or similar entity can be held liable for violations. – Rappler.com