By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
The Makati City government has regulated the use of videoke, karaoke and similar audio devices within the city’s residential areas and public streets to avoid discomforts and health hazards among its constituents.
Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay Jr. has signed City Ordinance No. 2011-019 that requires owners of videoke, karaoke and similar devices to secure the necessary permit from the barangay captain or his authorized representative before using such equipment in public streets or roadsides in the city.
The city chief executive said the ordinance seeks to protect residents and the general public from serious discomfort and health hazards posed by the unregulated use of videokes, karaokes and amplified sound systems within residences and on the streets.
He noted that tents with groups of people singing loudly till the wee hours of the morning using videokes are now becoming a common sight on the streets of many barangays.
“Excessive loudness has become a common cause of disputes among neighbors, as some residents tend to take for granted the well-being of others and think only of their own enjoyment. If we are to maintain peace and order in our communities, we have to seriously implement this ordinance, and we are counting on our barangay chiefs for its effective enforcement throughout Makati,” Binay said.
Under the ordinance, a permit for the regulated use of videoke and karaoke machines in the streets will first have to be secured from the barangay captain.
With the regulation, it is now unlawful for any person to make or cause to be made any “excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud sound” from the said machines within residences and on the streets, which “annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, health, peace or safety of others within the city.”
However, it also allows residents to use or operate videoke or karaoke systems with amplifiers on the street – within “acceptable” volume limits – from Monday to Sunday until midnight, provided they first secure a permit from the concerned barangay chief.
The applicant must fill out an application form provided by the barangay and file the same at least five working days before the actual date of the function. The form should include the following information: the nature of the intended activity, the type of audio device to be used, the specific location where the device will be used, and the period of time during which the device will be operated.
The ordinance also specifically cites restricted areas where the barangay shall not issue a permit for the said purpose, which includes any location within 200 meters of a school or place of worship, during the hours of school or worship, or within 200 meters of any hospital or other institutions caring for the sick or infirm.
Likewise, the barangay shall not issue a permit on the use or operation of such devices in areas where it will pose serious hazard to the safety and comfort of pedestrians or motorists, or deprive the public of reasonable right to safe and peaceful enjoyment of any public street or other public place.
The barangay officials must first issue a verbal order to the offender to stop or tone down the sounds to an acceptable level within a reasonable time. However, if the violation is deemed excessive, the authorities need not issue a verbal reprimand but may instead charge the offending person or persons with violation of the ordinance.
Any person who violates any of the provisions of the ordinance will be penalized with a fine of P1,000 or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both, at the discretion of the court.
Binay said that considered ‘prima facie’ evidence of a violation of the ordinance is when the sound generated from said devices is plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from its location.
He ordered barangay officials and the Makati City Police to immediately enforce the ordinance.