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.
?JOEY K. MONTALVO,
Nordson Green Earth Foundation,
115 Paseo de Roxas,
Bel Air IV, Makati City