PANGASINAN - Seven villages in the town of Binalonan, Pangasinan are now strictly implementing an anti-tsismis (gossip) and anti-ingay (noise) policy.
Barangay Capas, one of the barangays implementing the unusual ordinance, will impose fines on violators.
Those who violate the ordinance will be fined P300 for the first offense, P500 for the second offense, and P1,000 for the third offense. All violators are also required to render community service.
According to Atty. Geraldine Baniqued, Provincial Legal Officer of Pangasinan, residents have rights to freedom of expression and speech, but these rights are not absolute, especially if it leads to harm.
"May freedom of speech, expression...but sometimes, 'yung mga rights na ito hindi absolute...we also have to take consideration yung rights ng iba...the right of one person to his dignity and the right to expression and also if others right will be violated like yung freedom niya or dignity niya ss a person," she said.
Gossiping within the barangay also sometimes lead to conflicts within the neighborhood. This encouraged barangay officials to implement the law.
"Kasi yun yung simula ng awayan tsaka walang magandang maidudulot ang tsismis [Rumors start conflicts. Rumors don't bring any good at all]," Barangay Captain Danilo Tabucol Sr. said.
Aside from Barangay Capas, other barangays that implement the anti-tsismis ordinance are Barangays Moreno, Pasileng Sur, Cili, Vacante, San Felipe Central, and Dumayat.
The local government of Binalonan is also eyeing the implementation of the said ordinance in all barangays in town. - Report from Elaine Fulgencio, ABS-CBN News