MANILA — A lawmaker is seeking to declare every Sunday as “No Busina Day” to reduce noise pollution in the country.
Rep. Lucy T. Gomez (4th District, Leyte) said House Bill 4542 also seeks to give respect to the religious activities being undertaken during Sundays.
“The choice of Sunday as the horn tooting-free day is perhaps auspicious considering solemn religious activities are celebrated during this day,” Gomez said.
Torres-Gomez said the proposed measure hopes to be patterned with “car-less days” in certain countries and the number coding scheme in the Philippines, all of which are exercises of the police power of the State to promote the general welfare.
“If we look at it, the institution of car-less days is an even more radical approach towards smoke and noise pollution. If the latter practice is constitutionally defensible, we could, in the same breath, affirm that a one-day ban against the tooting of horns would easily stand the test of constitutional scrutiny,” Gomez said.
Gomez said it is a fact that many Filipinos lack simple road courtesy, tooting the horns of their vehicles at the slightest sources of irritation, real or imagined.
“Some of them do not realize that their noisy impatience would not improve traffic congestion a whit. Worse, drivers of public utility vehicles actually impede the smooth flow of traffic by stopping at certain road points longer than allowed by the rules and honking their horns continuously in order to attract passengers,” Gomez stressed.
According to the lawmaker, it is not far-fetched to say that the almost pathological blowing of horns on the part of some drivers is a precursor to murderous or homicidal road rage. These practices contribute to the over-all noise pollution in the country.
“The sensitivity of the human eardrums to noise is true not only in school and hospital zones but elsewhere as well. The state must take earnest steps to reduce the incidence of deafness among our people which is brought about in part by persistent exposure to inordinate levels of high decibels of noise,” Gomez said.
Under the measure, it is prohibited for drivers of all public and private vehicles throughout the country the tooting of horns of their vehicles every Sunday except for ambulances and other vehicles carrying persons requiring immediate medical attention, fire trucks, police patrol cars, military vehicles and in emergency situations.
A fine of Php500 will be imposed on violator per offense, which shall be paid at the nearest branch of the Local Transportation Office (LTO).
As defined under the bill, horn tooting refers to the unnecessary blowing of horns or the act of blowing the horn continuously, or when there is more than a single or a short sound of the horn.