November 30, 2023

The city government suspended implementation of the intensified campaign against vehicles with loud mufflers for one month pending determination of clear-cut guidelines on the process of apprehension and imposition of sanctions on the violators.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong, who ordered the crackdown last Oct. 10, affirmed there were inconsistencies in the procedures adopted and apparent confusion on the legal bases used in the apprehensions made in the three days that the campaign was launched.

This was based on complaints received and affirmed during the dialogue with the motorcycle riders’ federation and other affected parties conducted last Oct. 13.

The mayor said there is a need to put on hold the order to give time for the city and the law enforcers to clearly define the bases and the provisions to ensure consistency and fairness in the implementation.

He also decided to give the apprehended motorists a reprieve by ordering the return of the confiscated mufflers and allowing the cancellation of the citation tickets of those apprehended under questionable circumstances. This will be on a case-to-case basis subject to the review to be conducted by the City Legal Office, the Baguio City Police Office, and the Land Transportation Office.

During the consultation, the mayor secured the commitment of the motorist groups that while the campaign is suspended, they will police their own ranks by seeing to it that each member will comply with the muffler regulations and standards to avoid becoming a source of nuisance in the city.

The group promised to abide by the rules and assured they have no objection to the campaign as long as the implementation is fair, consistent, and with legal basis.

From Oct. 10 to 12, 39 motorists were flagged down for their defective or inappropriate mufflers.

The crackdown was ordered by the mayor after receiving numerous complaints on these noisy pipes causing disturbance in communities day and night. – Aileen P. Refuerzo