Amendment of City’s Codified Ordinance sought
AS an offshoot to the special report of Councilor Joyleen Mercedes L. Balaba during the regular session last April 17, 2023, the City Council committee on public order and safety, chaired by Councilor Romeo V. Calizo, met last Wednesday and tackled the request of the Regulatory Compliance Board (RCB) for the amendment of Ordinance No. 4373-94 or the Codified Ordinance of Cagayan de Oro City. As pointed out by Atty. Jose Edgardo Uy, RCB Chairperson, Section 614 of the ordinance needs to be amended to address the complaints regarding the noise disturbance brought about by the loud music emanating from bars and restaurants in residential areas.
The Codified Ordinance provides that the playing of jukebox, radio, stereo, karaoke, videoke and other similar devices and instruments in bars and in any other business establishments or places of amusement shall not be allowed between midnight to 5:00 AM except in closed and sound-proofed premises.
Accordingly, most complainants have requested that playing of loud music must not be allowed earlier before midnight or more specifically from 10:00PM to 7:00AM to resolve also the disturbance in the early morning by some Zumba enthusiasts.
“Wala nay problema kaniadto probably because of the dispersed location of the residents (and) businesses (before) compared to the situation now that even the residential areas are slowly becoming commercial areas. (When) the original text of the ordinance was enacted gamay pa kaayo ang population sa Cagayan de Oro from 1945 to 1994 and businesses may not have sprouted (yet) in residential areas unlike now,” Uy manifested.
For his part, Councilor Malvern Esparcia said that it’s not always about the noise but more on the kind of music played and the vibration produced by the sound system used by the establishments. “Pabor ko anang di ta gusto makaistorbo pero mao lagi the technicalities (must be specified in the ordinance). Pwede man sa imo hinay na pero sa uban nga gareklamo, kusog pa gyud gihapon. Ang ako lang concern is unsaon nato pag determine what is loud or what is hinay,” the councilor asked. Relative to this, Atty. Uy furnished the committee a copy of a notice/memorandum from Pueblo de Oro Association of Commercial and Institutional Establishments (PACE) dated April 19, 2023 requiring all its identified locators to lower their sound system starting 10PM to 7AM (Sunday to Thursday) and 11PM to 7AM (Fridays and Saturdays) in compliance with the agreement reached by the RCB and PACE during its meeting last April 18, 2023 particularly on the trial of noise control guidelines.
Under the guidelines, locators are advised to maintain the maximum allowable ambient noise level during the period which is 55 decibels measured one (1) meter from the property line of their establishment. They are also required to use the best practices such as enclosing their area or use the proper sound-proofing materials in cases when high noise levels may be generated during their operation, among others.
The committee noted such recommendations, including those proposed by Councilors Jose Pepe Abbu and Roger Abaday who were also present during the meeting. They will be incorporated in the proposed amendment, said Councilor Calizo.
The committee will call for another round of discussion after RCB shall have submitted the draft amendment. Representatives of concerned business establishments shall also be invited for the purpose, Calizo said. Councilors Aga Suan and Yvy Emano were also present during the meeting.