Karaoke no more? Lawmakers tackle proposed bill limiting late night sing-alongs

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2018 06:57 PM

MANILA - Filipinos may soon have to say goodbye to late night sing-alongs.

Lawmakers at the House of Representatives have begun discussing a bill that aims to limit the use of karaoke or videoke machines and other sound-amplifying equipment that cause unnecessary disturbance in residential areas.

House Bill No. 1035, filed by Quezon Rep. Helen Tan, aims to limit the use of sing-along machines and other loud musical instruments from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

"One major source of noise [in] residential areas in the country is caused by the use of videoke/karaoke systems," Tan said in the explanatory note of her bill.

"Everywhere in the Philippines, many local residents or groups are accustomed [to] utilizing public streets or roadsides to gain wider area for a private activity or function, often making use of videoke/karaoke systems, amplified audio devices sheltered on collapsible tents as a form of amusement, recreation or for a private audience," she added.

Tan also cited several negative effects of noise such as hypertension, loss of efficiency at work, and reduced creativity and learning.

"Hindi pa po kasama dito ang mga buhay na nasayang dahil sa pamatay na kantang 'My Way'," Tan said at a committee hearing. 

Violators of the proposed measure would be slapped with a P1,000 fine and/or imprisonment of not more than 6 months.

Companies found violating the said measure could also lose their business license and have their officers held liable.

The bill has been forwarded by the House Committee on Public Order and Safety to a technical working group. 

During discussions on the proposed measure, a lawmaker suggested the use of a decibel meter in classifying whether the noise is disturbing.

"Sound is subjective. 'Yung ingay sa ibang tao di maingay sa iba. Ang suggestion ko lang dito, let us require decibel meters or decibel measurements," Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. said.