Solon wants to address noise pollution problem

NOISE pollution is an environmental hazard that would continue to affect people’s health if not regulated or eradicated, according to a lawmaker.

The warning came from Rep. Marcelino  Teodoro (1st District, Marikina) who recently filed House Bill 1839 or the “Anti-Pollution Act of 2010”, which seeks to regulate noise and provide for appropriate     penalties to raise people’s awareness on their responsibilities to other people’s rights against being disturbed, annoyed by noise pollution which could affect their health and welfare.

“The noise pollution dilemma is an environmental hazard which, due to constant exposure, is often ignored. Unfortunately, there is no law that addresses noise pollution,” Teodoro said.

Teodoro explained that studies conducted by the World Health Organization revealed that excessive noise seriously harms human health and interferes with people’s daily activities at school, at work, at home and during leisure time, disturbs sleep, causes cardiovascular and psycho-physiological effects reduce performance and provoke annoyance responses and changes in social behaviour.

Teodoro said past administrations and local governments have formulated initiatives which seek to protect the populace from its harmful effects.

During the Marcos administration, Presidential Decree 856 or the Code on Sanitation listed noise pollution under Sec. 85, as a type of nuisance.

Teodoro said the cities of Puerto Princesa in Palawan and San Juan in Metro Manila were among those which introduced local ordinances to promote a healthier citizenry.

“In the 14th Congress several bills were filed and consolidated to enact an encompassing law, but failed to serve its purpose because it fell short of being ratified before Congress adjourned last June,” Teodoro said.

“Either because it is not considered a problem at all or people simply do not care, what with perceived-to-be far more crucial environmental problems they have to deal with, no effort has truly been made to prevent people and industries from creating too much noise, as in one that is loud, excessive and unnecessary,” Teodoro said.

The bill mandates the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Health and Public Works and Highways shall be tasked to formulate a comprehensive anti-noise pollution framework, in coordination with other government agencies and private sectors concerned.

A penalty of imprisonment not exceeding one month or a fine not exceeding P200 shall be imposed upon violators, unless a higher penalty is provided under the Revised Penal Code or special laws.

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