CITING “repeated complaints” from various Baguio barangay residents, Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong has directed the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) under P Col. Francisco Bulwayan Jr. to intensify apprehensions of vehicles with noisy exhausts along with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Public Order and Safety Division.
Initially, the order issued by Magalong only covered motorcycles, but following public feedback and recommendation, Magalong expanded the order to cover cars as well.
A mere day after the issuance of the order, the BCPO already reported a total of 39 apprehensions and ticketing in accordance with the LTO Muffler Law, which prescribes a 99 decibel (dB) sound level limit for motor vehicle muffler exhaust.
However, rider associations in the city have complained of improper implementation of the crackdowns.
During a public consultation on the crackdown, Robert Macagba of the Cordillera Motorcycle Riders Federation, Incorporated (CMFRI) said that the riding community is largely in favor of the sound limits but implementation has been flawed at best.
“We actually do support the campaign to reduce noise on the road. What we are just asking is the proper implementation and proper guidelines. Why the riding community made noise is because there are reports of wrong apprehensions,” Macagba said.
“At Station 1, police deputized by the LTO used a sound level machine, so the apprehension is correct, but after issuing a ticket, they also confiscated the muffler, putting the rider in double jeopardy. There have also been instances where the motorcycle is parked and not running but they were issued tickets. So just from there we can see that there are inconsistencies in implementation,” Macagba added.
Magalong meanwhile said that in order to properly implement the new stringent standards, he will provide a month of time for the rider associations to adjust their machines in accordance with the LTO decibel standards, and task them to police their own ranks so that apprehensions do not become regular or necessary.
At the same time, the city is also looking into acquiring sound level measurement tools for implementation, which would cost at least P3,000 a unit.