City Council tackles ‘Silent night’ ordinance

BAGUIO CITY — The City Council here approved on first reading a proposed ordinance declaring it unlawful for any person to make or cause excessive, unnecessary or unusual loud sounds from audio devices within residential areas and public streets.

The ordinance author, Councilor Edgar Avila, on Wednesday said once approved, the “Silent night” ordinance will disallow any loud noise in residential areas, subdivisions and public streets from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily and violators will be penalized with a maximum of PhP5,000.

The ordinance said using videokes or karaokes — a favorite local past time — may be allowed until midnight provided that residents get a permit from the barangay at least five days before the intended activity, otherwise, volume must be lowered so as not to disturb neighbors.

Loud sound, music or noise will not be tolerated 200 meters from schools, places of worship or hospitals.

The proposal also defines loud noise as when the volume destroys the serenity and comfort of people in any dwelling or residence, or when the volume is louder than necessary for the convenient hearing of the persons who are in the place in which audio devices such as karaoke, videoke, amplifiers, and musical instruments, among others, are operated.

The proposed ordinance further mentioned that a sound may be considered too loud if it is plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from its origin.

Avila said people look forward to going home after a hard day’s work or after school and expect an evening of rest, peaceful bliss or good night’s sleep in the city’s cool climate.

He said people are deprived of their well-deserved peace because of rowdy, 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, thus, the need to effectively and efficiently address the basic community concern.

Avila added that noisy parties in the neighborhood often lead to disputes that even result in violence, injury and damage to property.