Following Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s signing of Ordinance No. 8772, a lot of motorists went up in pitchforks over one of the Ordinance’s provisions: the removal of noisy mufflers from the vehicle. Section 9 of what is known as Motor Vehicles Modified Muffler Noise Regulation Ordinance – wow, that’s a mouthful – indicates that on the first offense, a PHP 1,000 fine will be imposed, along with the “removal of the modified muffler or exhaust pipe”.
To clarify, Councilor Joel T. Villanueva (principal author of the Ordinance) said that while removal of mufflers will still be enforced, it will not be done at the moment of apprehension. With the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) taking point in apprehending vehicle owners, they can and will confiscate drivers’ licenses, as well. This, along with records of violations, will help keep track of ticketed vehicles.
Upon reclaiming confiscated licenses, this is when they will require the “fixing” of the loud mufflers. Their definition of “fixing” is that when the driver comes in with the flagged vehicle, it has to have an Ordinance-compliant muffler installed. But what defines a compliant muffler? It has to reach a maximum of 99 decibels (dB) at 2,000 to 2,500 rpm. Failure to comply will most likely result in the non-release of the drivers’ license.
But what if they drive in with a different vehicle when claiming their license? Previously we mentioned that records are kept. So if by any chance the same vehicle gets flagged again, that constitutes as the 2nd, 3rd, or succeeding offenses that warrant higher cash penalties while still requiring the removal of the same muffler. Until such time the fines and proper modifications are met, driver’s licenses cannot and will not be released, and the chances of offenses will just be compounded with every apprehension.
It was stated, though, that the release of confiscated licenses will only be done once these criteria are satisfied, but this serves to remind those who find “other ways to weasel out” of violations that no one will be exempt from the newly implemented ordinance. If you do happen to have a “sports” muffler on your car, now’s a pretty good time to make sure you’re compliant.
Whether there are a lot more who might disagree with Ordinance No. 8772 or not, it’s better to get with the law than to fork out your hard-earned cash if you get caught. Worse, you won’t get the most out of that muffler you just bought. It may not be popular, but right now, it’s the law.