The muffler act of 2016

As of this writing, the Muffler act of 2016 or Anti Noise Pollution Law has been approved by both houses. Now waiting the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte, this law aims to curve, if not totally ban, the sale and use of mufflers that are deemed too “noisy”.

Ideally, the tolerable audio level for the human ear is below 85 decibels at 15 meters. Some aftermarket mufflers can produce up to 120 decibels at a distance of 5 meters. It is also common knowledge that these kind of mufflers are a very popular type of accessory for small displacement motorcycles, such as scooters or underbones, and with over 4 million units roaming around the country, this may create havoc for commuters and residents alike.

Of course, implementation is another thing. With the limited personnel and resources of both the MMD and HPG, they will be hard pressed to apprehend violators, much less define what is “noisy” or not. Another problem is the interpretation of the guidelines. Additional training of personnel is sorely needed in this department.

If they were really serious, I would recommend LTO and DTI to direct all stores and shops to cease and desist from selling these kinds of mufflers. Cutting of the supply is a good start. Another option is denial of LTO registration of the motorcycle in question until it changes or replaces the said muffler. Not only is this more economical, but twice effective.

It is rumored that even President Rodrigo Duterte, an avid motorcycle fan, hates these kind of mufflers. In Davao, the President even implemented a ban on noisy, modified mufflers. A city ordinance, dubbed as “An Ordinance for the Comprehensive Transport & Traffic Code of Davao City,” states that:“No person shall operate a motor vehicle on a street unless such motor vehicle is equipped, at all times, with a muffler or mufflers in constant operation and of sufficient capacity for the motor and equipped with an exhaust system to prevent the escape of excessive fumes or smoke and unusual noise.”

Interestingly, the Philippines has an existing law about noise pollution dated way back 1977 which states: “Industrial establishments shall be provided with positive noise abatement devices to tone down the noise level of equipment and machineries to acceptable limits set down by the Department of Labor and the National Pollution Control Commission.”

Although this he law only applies to industrial establishments, it has been modified and amended to include motor vehicles and automobiles.
The bill exempts vehicles designed for use in sports competitions and motor shows.

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