EcoWaste Coalition slams political noise pollution, appeals for moderation

Quezon City. As the campaign season rages like the heat of the blazing sun, a waste and pollution watchdog drew attention to the laxity of regulating noise emanating from the frenzied political activities.

The EcoWaste Coalition warned that the unchecked noise pollution from the competing politicos and their campaign machineries will likely worsen as the May 10 national and local polls near.

The group, which is campaigning for ecological responsibility in the exercise of the right to suffrage, underscored the problem with noise pollution on the occasion of the World Health Day today, April 7, which focuses on urban living and health.

“The non-stop noise from loudspeakers blurting out political jingles and blurbs in the streets and other public spaces is already infringing on the people’s right to a peaceful and tranquil environment,” said Rene Pineda of the Citizens’ Organization Concerned with Advocating Philippine Environmental Sustainability and the EcoWaste Coalition.

“While we understand the need of our politicians to reach out to the electorate, it is only fair that the public should not suffer from too much noise,” he said.

“Given that we have no specific rules under our election laws on what will constitute reasonable noise limits, we ask all candidates to be sensitive enough not to turn the loudspeakers up full blast and cause offense or annoyance. Kaunting hina naman,” Pineda stated.

While the Omnibus Election Code has no provision regulating noise from political activities, there may exist local ordinances in some jurisdictions that regulate and penalize offending noise, the EcoWaste Coalition said.

“The politicians, therefore, are not only violating human rights per se, but existing ordinances. They could be breaking their own ordinances versus noise pollution as no one is supposed to be exempt from the law,” Pineda stressed.

Aside from moderating the volume of their loudspeakers, the EcoWaste Coalition expressed hope that responsible politicos will voluntarily stop airing their political jingles and ads near hospitals and places of study and worship.

Citing information from the Environmental Protection UK, the EcoWaste Coalition said that noise, an “unwanted sound,” can cause irritability and pressure for many people and harm the sense of hearing depending on the intensity of the noise, among other factors.

UK’s Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 makes noise in the street a statutory nuisance, providing restrictions on the use of loudspeakers in the streets and other sources of noise, the EcoWaste Coalition noted.

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