CEBU, Philippines – Owners of motor vehicles in Cebu City whose mufflers are modified to emit louder sounds may face higher fines, if not imprisonment.
The City Council has passed an ordinance that puts more teeth to a 1964 ordinance that requires the use of a “silencer” for all motor vehicles to avoid “loud and deafening blasts”.
Under the new ordinance authored by Councilor Roberto Cabarrubias, violators may be fined P3,000 for the first offense and P5,000 or imprisonment or not more than three months or both at the discretion of the court for the second offense.
“There is a need to make people act responsibly over the use of their property so as not to cause disturbance and annoyance to the public,” Cabarrubias said.
A muffler or a silencer is a device attached to vehicle exhaust pipes to help diminish the loud sound emitted by car engines.
“Those who use or operate any motor vehicle so modified or with removed muffler as to cause loud and unnecessary or unreasonable noise, including the noise resulting from exhaust, which is clearly audible from nearby properties and unreasonably disturbing to the quiet, comfort, or repose of other persons will be penalized,” Cabarrubias said.
Cabarrubias said vehicles are equipped with mufflers or silencers for anti-noise pollution, but there are vehicle owners that remove or modify the mufflers purposely “to make the sound emitted by exhaust pipes louder”.
Section 3(b) of the ordinance also prohibits the use or operation of “any motor vehicle that emits noise higher than 84 decibels even if not modified.”
Exempted from the rule are those driving a vehicle during a race and while the vehicle is on a racetrack, provided that the person has acquired written consent from the Office of the Mayor.
Mayor Michael Rama who supports the measure said the ordinance will help create a more peaceful environment for Cebu City.
“Anything that will already contribute noise is a public and security issue… it will intrude already (to) the right of an individual to have a peaceful living,” Rama said.
City Ordinance 309 (Anti-Noise Ordinance), as amended by City Ordinance Nos. 1313, 1705 and 1898, makes it unlawful for “any person to willfully cause loud and deafening blast of engines…of motor vehicles.”
The prohibition shall take effect from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following day. —/JMO (FREEMAN)