Karaoke or acoustic and disco bars were urged to strictly observe the city’s Silent Night Ordinance or face penalties and possible closure.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong directed the Baguio City Police Office, Public Order and Safety Division, and the Permits and Licensing Office to intensify monitoring of bars and night establishments in relation to the implementation of the Silent Night Ordinance.
Permits and Licensing Officer Allan Abayao said 44 establishments were inspected last Sept. 30 by the joint team also composed of personnel from the City Buildings and Architecture Office, City Health Services Office, and Barangay Burnham-Legarda.
One establishment was closed for violating the ordinance multiple times.
Due process was observed before the closure, according to Abayao.
Ordinance 44, s. 2018 states it is unlawful for any person to make or cause excessive, unnecessary, or unusually loud sounds from audio devices within residential areas and public streets in the city from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Using videokes or karaokes, a favorite local pastime, may be allowed until midnight provided resident concerned would secure a permit from the punong barangay five days before the intended use and commit to keep their volume to acceptable levels.
Loud sounds, music, or noises will not be tolerated in places within 200 meters from schools, places of worship, and hospitals.
Exemptions are given during the Christmas season provided schools have declared their respective holidays or from Dec. 16 of the year to Jan. 2 of the following year; All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day observance and other holidays defined as national or local holidays; Baguio Flower Festival; wakes, provided the permit requirements are complied with; and other occasions as may be deemed by the punong barangay as applicable also subject to permit compliance.
Violators will be given initial verbal warning/order to tone down noise but if the violation is deemed excessive, fines ranging from P1,000 to P5,000 will be imposed.
Abayao said the city has an existing undertaking with night establishments to suspend the operation for a certain period for those who repeatedly violate the rule. – Aileen P. Refuerzo