Crackdown vs. noise polluting vehicles in city on

DAGUPAN City residents can begin to look forward to quiet peaceful nights after the Sangguniang Panlungsod passed an ordinance declaring as public nuisance motor vehicles and motorcycles that emit “exceptionally loud, startling and annoying noise affecting public health, safety and peace, and providing penalties to violators.”

While there was unanimity on the need to act against the noisy vehicles especially at night, a clash of opinion, however, on the legal basis between Councilors Redford Erfe-Mejia, draft ordinance author, and Jose Netu Tamayo ensued.

Erfe-Mejia filed the measure in response to the clamor of the public especially senior citizens who are usually roused from their sleep in the middle of the night, by motorcycles emitting loud, startling sound.

Tamayo said initially that the draft ordinance was a duplication of Republic Act No. 4136 that imposes higher penalties for violators, including impoundment of their units but which only LTO (Land Transportation Office) enforcers and their deputized agents can enforce.

Tamayo’s resolution merely asked LTO I Regional Director Teofilo Guadiz III to deputize and renew the deputation of police and POSO (Public Order and Safety Office) personnel so that they can enforce RA 4136, particularly on motorcycle riders that cruise the city streets at night with extremely loud sounds emitted by their modified mufflers.

The draft ordinance authored by Erfe-Mejia was approved when other councilors including members of the majority bloc agreed that the city should have its own ordinance like other towns whose enforcement will not depend on LTO.

The ordinance provides that no person shall drive any motor vehicle with a modified muffler, sound booster and any device that will increase the noise of vehicles at any time of the day and night within the city streets, roads, alleys or highways of the city of Dagupan.

It penalizes violators with a fine of P1,500 for the first offense, P3,000 for the second offense and P5,000 and revocation of driver’s license for the third offense.

Citing legal ground in saying “no” to the measure, Tamayo opined that the ordinance is ultra vires considering that it does not provide any legal basis as to the authority of the Sanggunian to direct the impoundment of a motor vehicle.

P/Superintendent Jandale Sulit, OIC-chief of police of Dagupan, confirmed that a similar ordinance is strictly enforced in Metro Manila where erring motorists were apprehended and modified mufflers of motorcycles were seized and destroyed. (Leonardo Micua)

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