Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bill against noise pollution doesn’t go far enough

Philippine Daily Inquirer

A national law to regulate noise pollution is long overdue. House Bill 7072 authored by Reps. Dato Arroyo, Ferdinand Martin Romualdez et al. could be a step in the right direction, but by limiting its scope to cover only noisy car engines and the blowing of horns in “non-commercial districts,” its authors stopped short of crafting an encompassing and effective law.

Haven’t these lawmakers noticed that, more than automobiles, most of which are equipped with regulation exhaust/muffler systems, the noisier vehicles that pass through non-commercial or residential areas are tricycles, motorcycles and jeepneys with straight exhaust pipes? And if the real intent of the law is to safeguard the general health and well-being of residents in non-commercial districts, then why have its authors left out other sources of noise pollution? Some of these are:

1. Backyard/home businesses producing more than normal noise like metal fabrication shops, etc.;

2. Fighting cocks and other noisy animals (including dogs);

3. Street parties and wakes where people create noise;

4. Karaoke singing and other forms of amplified sound (whether outside or within the bounds of one’s property) above the ambient noise level or that “disturbs” or causes discomfort or annoyance to others beyond one’s property line;

5. Playing of loud music inside restaurants, stores and malls which make normal conversation impossible.
Finally, why limit the prohibition to the period from 8 p.m. till 8 a.m.? Noise pollution is still noise pollution between 8:01 a.m. and 7:59 p.m.

Noise pollution, like air pollution, causes slow death. It is like assault with a deadly weapon. It is a crime against life. Our lawmakers should get real.

Nordson Green Earth Foundation,
115 Paseo de Roxas,
Bel Air IV, Makati City

In connection with the above news, many residents of Baranggay Central I, Palompon, Leyte were so happy to learn that finally the BLITZ GRILL Beer and Grill located at Evangelista Street  have been closed since  Saturday, September 10,  2010.

Said establishment was a constant irritation to neighbors who has to endure the suffering every time they extend their operation to the wee hours of the morning causing most of them to suffer sleepless nights and tired bodies.

In the last petition by residents of the said Baranggay, Mr. Charles Chiong, whose hotel establishment, is directly beside the protested Karaoke and Grill bar, complained that  hotel guest cannot sleep due to the noise emanating from the said bar.

An ordinance was approved last November 2009, "Prohibiting Nuisance in the Municipality of Palompon, Providing Penalties For Violators Thereof, and for Other Purposes" - authored by Mun. Councilor GILBERT MANONGSONG A similar decision of the Supreme Court en banc was noted by the undersigned which I quote:

G.R. No. L-17760            October 31, 1962
RAMCAR, INC., Petitioner, vs. EUSEBIO S. MILLAR, ET AL., Respondents.
REYES, J.B.L., J.: chanrobles virtual law library
Petitioner Ramcar Inc., operates and maintains an auto repair and body building shop at No. 1241 (formerly No. 1377) General Luna Street, Ermita, Manila, while the seven private respondents reside near or around the shop. Respondents brought an action before the Court of First Instance of Manila to abate the said establishment as a nuisance. That Court, after trial, dismissed the complaint, and not satisfied with the decision, the plaintiffs (respondents now) appealed the case to the Court of Appeals. The appellate court reversed the trial court's decision and entered judgment against Ramcar, Inc. as follows:
WHEREFORE, the decision of the lower court is hereby reversed and another one rendered declaring that the operation and maintenance of the establishment of the defendant corporation at No. 1241 (formerly No. 1377) General Luna St., Ermita, Manila, is a public nuisance and violates the provisions of Zonification Ordinance No. 2830, as amended by Ordinance No. 2906, of the City of Manila; ordering the defendants-appellees to remove the said establishment and all buildings and structures built therein within 30 days from the finality of this judgment; and, condemning defendant-appellee Ramcar, Inc., to pay plaintiffs-appellants the sum of P10,000.00 as special damages and P2,000.00 as attorney's fees, without costs in this instance".

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