House bill seeks to limit videoke hours

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 13) — The House of Representatives on Tuesday started tackling the bill that seeks to limit the operating hours of videoke machines and other sound amplifying equipment between 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

House Bill No. 1035, filed by Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan, proposes a P1,000 fine or six months imprisonment for those who use videoke machines past 10 p.m.

"It shall be unlawful for any person or business establishment to cause unnecessary disturbance to the public," the bill stated.

The proposed measure included the use of radio, CD player, television set, amplified musical instruments, drums, loudspeakers, videokes, karaoke systems, and other sound amplifying equipment.

Businesses that violate the law may lose their license to operate. If the violation is committed by a corporation, partnership, association, or similar entity, the president, General Manager, or most senior officers will be held liable.

At the hearing of the House Committee on Public Order and Safety, Kate Victa of the Anti-Noise Crusaders of the Philippines said it's not just videoke machines whose operations should be regulated.

"Nowadays, very rampant na yung Zumba, aerobics, mga ganyan. Wala naman pong problema kaso what concerns us now, since it's becoming rampant, they're actually using loudspeakers," Victa said.

Lawmakers still have to fine-tune HB 1035 to determine whether to include other noisemakers in the list of equipment to be regulated, as well as set a scientific standard for telling what should be considered noise.