By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY – The “Silent Night” ordinance has been passed into law, declaring it unlawful for any person to make or cause “excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud sounds” from audio devices within residential areas, subdivisions and public streets in the city from 10 pm to 5 am.
Councilor Edgar Avila, who authored the “Silent Night” ordinance said it may now be implemented by barangay officials who may call on the Baguio City Police Office to assist them in the same and/or cause the arrest of violators.
A verbal order will be given to violators to tone down the noise. However, if the violation is deemed excessive, a fine of P1,000 or imprisonment of up to six months, or both shall be imposed for the first offense; P3,000 for the second offense and P5,000 for the third offense.
Avila explained that people look forward to going home after a hard day’s work or after school and expect an evening of rest, peaceful bliss and/or good night’s sleep in the cool climate of the City of Baguio.
“At times, our people are deprived of the 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 a need to address this basic community concern;” he said.
The ordinance states that using videokes or karaokes, a favorite local pastime, may be allowed until 12 midnight provided that the resident concerned would secure a permit from the Punong Barangay five days before the intended use and commits to keep their volume to “acceptable” levels. It adds that loud sound, music or noises will not be tolerated in places within 200 meters of schools, places of worship and hospitals.