Traffic unit to work with dealers on muffler edict

(Photo courtesy of ICTMU)

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

Iloilo City Traffic Management Unit (ICTMU) head Uldarico Garbanzos acknowledged on Monday, May 13, that there is significant work to be done regarding the city’s crackdown on modified mufflers, even as he committed to collaborating with relevant stakeholders.

Garbanzos reported that 117 mufflers had been confiscated recently, with a ceremonial destruction planned at the Freedom Grandstand on Friday, May 17. He noted that this number might increase by the day of the event.

He also addressed public confusion about the implementation of the muffler ordinance, especially concerning motorcycle engine sizes. City Regulation Ordinance (CRO) No. 2023-071 exempts motorcycles with engines over 400 cubic centimeters (cc) from the ordinance.

CC or cubic centimeters is a unit of measure pertaining to the size of the motorcycle engine’s compression chamber, thus its displacement. A larger chamber indicated by a higher CC value provides more space for the fuel-air mixture, thereby producing more power and speed.

“Upon flagging them down, if the documents show that their motorcycle engine is over the specified cc, we don’t question it. We strictly follow the specific provision of the ordinance,” Garbanzos explained.

The primary concern, he said, revolves around aftermarket modifications that owners claim are necessary due to wear but may involve unauthorized alterations.

“According to them, their exhaust pipes got worn out, so they bought new ones, but in the first impression, we see that these may be modified. There is Google and we look on what the standard mufflers are for this type of motorcycle,” he said.

Garbanzos admitted the need to consult with dealers, recognizing the potential impact on their businesses and possible ordinance overreach. The Business Permits and Licensing Office will assist in reaching out to these businesses.

“We have instructed our supervisors to engage with dealers of modified mufflers. For us, as we were informed, there are modified mufflers are being ordered online. [They] also need to be engaged because they are also concerned in terms of their business,” he said.

“When we identify all of them, we will send letters to them, and we will be engaging with them regarding the issues,” he added.

Garbanzos also responded to allegations about an ICTMU staff member having an open exhaust pipe, saying that the staff member had been summoned to his office, and their motorcycle was tested and found compliant with the ordinance.

He affirmed that any ICTMU personnel found violating the ordinance would face due process and potential administrative charges.

The city currently uses eight decibel meters to test mufflers, with four operated by the ICTMU and four by the Iloilo City Police Office. Garbanzos mentioned plans to provide additional units to all six city police stations.

CRO No. 2023-071 prohibits the sale, installation, and use of modified mufflers that produce excessive noise up to 99 decibels at engine speeds of 2,000 to 2,500 revolutions per minute. The ordinance defines modified mufflers as those altered from original factory settings to create excessive and irritating sounds.

Violations of the ordinance carry fines of P1,000 for a first offense, P3,000 for a second, and P5,000 for a third, with the muffler being removed and confiscated for all offenses.

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