Confiscated motorcycle mufflers in 2020. (Photo courtesy of Richard Ligad)

The Puerto Princesa City council has approved an ordinance lowering the penalty fees on motorcycle muffler violations by amending City Ordinance No. 819, or the Muffler Ordinance of Puerto Princesa City.

The ordinance was published on Monday by the City Information Office (CIO) and will take effect 15 days from its official publication in a newspaper.

The new ordinance covers violations such as “busal” (tailpipe) attachments, damaged or removed mufflers, removed or “open pipe” mufflers, and “excessively noisy” mufflers on all motorcycles. Under the ordinance, excessively noisy means exceeding 99 decibels taken at a certain engine speed.

“No person shall operate any motor vehicle/motorcycle whether for private or public use, with a muffler or exhaust system producing exhaust noise exceeding 99 decibels taken at an engine speed of 2,000 to 2,500 revolutions per minute (rpm),” the ordinance read.

“The use, placement, or attachment of any type of ‘busal’ to the tail/tailpipe shall also be unlawful,” it added.

The ordinance also stated that engine noise will be measured by personnel of the City Traffic Management Office (CTMO) using a sound meter at 0.5 meters from the vehicle. The CTMO will also be the primary office to apprehend violators, impound vehicles, and eventually dispose of defective mufflers and “busal” attachments that were confiscated. All payments will be made to the City Treasurer.

The new penalties for the following violations are as follows:

For using a motorcyle with a damaged or defective muffler system:
First offense – P300
Second offense – P500
Third offense – P1,000

For using a motorcyle with open pipe and “busal” attachment:
First offense – P500
Second offense – P1,000
Third offense – P1,500, with arresto menor and, if warranted by a judicial court, community service

Aside from the penalty fees, the violator’s motorcycle will be impounded by the CTMO while the penalty fees must by the violator within 24 hours. If the violator fails to pay within that period, an impounding fee of P200 per day will be imposed on the violator. The vehicle owner is also required to install a muffler on their motorcyle, replace the damaged muffler, or remove the “busal” before the vehicle can be claimed. All “busal” attachments, defective mufflers, and open pipe mufflers will then be disposed of by the CTMO.

However, motorcycles used for sports and other competitions are exempted from the ordinance’ coverage.

“Motorcycles categorized as big bikes or those having an engine power output of 400 cubic capacity (cc), provided that these vehicles shall be operated along the city streets and barangay roads of this city at a speed limit for under existing ordinances, otherwise, the penalties for violations shall apply,” the ordinance stated.