MANILA, Philippines – Karaoke lovers, beware!
Quezon 4th District Representative Angelina Tan filed House Bill (HB) Number 1035, which seeks a nationwide ban on the playing or operating of any karaoke systems, loudspeakers, musical instruments, and other sound amplifying equipment after 10 pm in residential areas.
Tan wants individuals and business establishments to use sound-producing devices from 8 am to 10 pm in a bid to reduce noise pollution in the country.
According to the lawmaker, one “major” source of noise in residential areas in the country is the karaoke systems.
“Everywhere in the Philippines, many local residents or groups are accustomed in utilizing public streets or road sides to gain wider area for a private activity or function, often making use of videoke/karaoke systems, amplified audio devices sheltered on collapsible tents as form of amusement, recreation, or for private audience,” said Tan in her explanatory note.
“The making or creation of excessive, unnecessary, or unusually loud sounds from videoke/karaoke systems or other amplified audio devices beyond limits and at unacceptable levels during unholy hours causes serious discomfort and has created numerous complaints and public condemnation as they are detrimental to public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare, and prosperity of the general public,” she added.
Should HB 1035 be passed into law, it would penalize first-time violators with a fine of P1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 6 months.
Succeeding offenses by business establishments would lead to the revocation of their license to operate.
If the violation is committed by a corporation, partnership, association, or other similar entity, HB 1035 would make the president, general manager, or the most senior officer of the company responsible.
President Rodrigo Duterte said in May 2016 that he wants local government units to stamp out noisy karaoke sessions, but did not specify his preferred method to do so.
Davao City, where the President was previously a longtime mayor, started implementing a ban on late-night karaoke sessions after Duterte received complaints about it from citizens.