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The Puerto Princesa City Traffic Management Office (CTMO) has purchased new sound and decibel meters that will aid traffic enforcers in apprehending muffler system violators.

Under City Ordinance 1147, muffler violations now include defective or noisy muffler systems emitting noise higher than 99 decibels, CTMO officer-in-charge Allan Mabella said. The previous ordinance only stated that modified mufflers, using “busal” or “kalkal,” were subject to violations.

“’Yong opisina naming naka-purchase na ng mga decibel meter. Na-distribute na rin naming doon sa mga deputized na ahensya natin, mas marami nga lang sa amin sa opisina. So, may paparating na tayong iilan, ‘yon ang gagamitin namin bago kami manghuli,” Mabella said in an interview on Friday.

Mabella stated that traffic enforcers now have sound meters at all times that will aid them in apprehending violators. He added motorists have a right to decline apprehensions if enforcers are not using a sound meter. However, in obvious cases such as if the muffler system is visibly defective, no sound meter is needed to aid apprehension.

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“Halimbawang merong nanita sa kanila tungkol sa ingay ng tambutso, ‘yong dahilan kung bakit sila pinara, hindi puwedeng manghuli ang isang traffic enforcer na walang hawak na decibel meter. Puwede nilang kwestyunin ‘yon, kasi ang decibel meter ang patunay na nag-commit ng violation ang motorista,” he explained.

“Maliban doon sa tinatawag na depektibo, ‘yong hindi na kailangan sukatin ng decibel meter dahil nakikita kaagad, na talagang may sira [ang muffler system],” he added.

The amended muffler ordinance states that motorists using defective or missing mufflers face impounding of their vehicles and penalty fees starting at P300 for the first offense. For modifications such as “busal” and “kalkal,” the penalty is P500 for the first offense. All motorists must pay their corresponding fees with the City Treasury and repair their muffler systems or remove modifications before claiming their vehicle.

The only motorcycles exempted from the ordinance are big bikes with an engine displacement of 400 cubic centimeters (cc) and above, and those being used for sports.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.