Santiago seeks penalty vs use of gadgets in shows, theaters


Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago  has filed a  bill seeking to penalize  the use of mobile phones, two-way radios and  other  electronic visual devices  inside  movie theaters, concert halls and other similar places.

Under  Senate Bill 3384 known as “The Silent Mode Act,”  mobile telephones two-way radios and audio visual electronic devices  should be turned off or placed on  vibrate or silent mode at all  times inside movie theaters, concert halls and auditoriums and “any  other indoor venue  in  which theatrical, musical,  dance  cinema,  lecture or other  similar public performances are exhibited.”

“Patrons must  leave  the theater or move to an  area where they cannot be heard, in order to make or answer a call or otherwise use the device,” it said.

Any person who will violate the proposed bill will be escorted out of the venue immediately.

“Before every performance,  the  establishment shall issue a  reminder to the audience to turn off their gadgets or put them on silent mode. It shall also be their obligation to post copies of this Act at the entrance of the venue in plain view of patrons,”  the  bill added.

A person caught violating this proposed bill would  be  slapped with  a P500 fine for the first offense; P1,000 for second offense and P3,000 for third offense.

In filing  the  measure , Santiago noted how difficult it was to  discourage  people  from  carrying  their gadges into movie theaters, concert halls and other areas where performances are held.

“In such places, noises made from the use of phones and other gadgets are a nuisance to  the rest of the audience, who have paid to see the performance.

Unfortunately, despite repeated reminders from theater operators to turn off cel phones or  complaints from  other  members  of the  audience who are  bothered  by  the  noise,  many  patrons continue using these devices in the midst of a show,” she said.

“The bright light from screens and the noise generated from people who  answer calls, play
games, surf the Internet and  access other media on their electronic gadgets  are  highly disruptive in closed spaces; their conduct distracts others from their purpose for being in the theatre,” said he senator.

But without the prospect of facing  any  consequences for such disruptive behavior, Santiago said, it would  be easy to  disregard polite requests to stop using these devices.

“Hence, it is time to  establish a  aw with  corresponding  penalties to  marshal  rude  gadget users  and  allow other patrons to  fully  appreciate and  enjoy the performance,” she said.

“Jurisprudence has  consistently upheld the  government’s right  to  impose  restraints  which  regulate  the  time,  place  and  manner  of expression  in  public places,” she further said.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • jake

    actually sa new york may ganitong law na…
    pasaway din kasi mga filipino

  • dxdaistar

    in the Philippines, yes, this law is needed!

  • josesantos318

    Madam, since you are there already, please include penalty on persons talking with each other inside the movie house. Also include children that cries during certain scenes. That will surely silence the moviegoers, or prevent them from seeing a movie.

  • tarikan

    No need for the law. What is needed is to shame the culprit by shouting on top of your lungs into his/her ear. Then the security personnel could escort him/her out of the theater and never to come back. 

  • jimboalba

    You don’t need to create a law for that. At least, not now.  There are other important and meaningful laws you should focus instead.

  • observer1356

    sa totoo lang, marami din naman kasi ang pasaway, pero hindi na kailangan ang batas para lang ipatupad ito…. though kailangan gawin ng mga establishment/theaters/churches/places of worship or any other venues, to issue polite reminders and/or enforce it by politely escorting the person who cannot / will not abide by such a simple request.

    it would be the right of the venue to issue and enforce such restrictions and if one cannot accept or abide by such minor requirement, he/she should not be there in the first place…

    no law, just common sense, is needed…

  • Solomon Prince

    Madam would you like to pass a bill for me unti-capture video & picture the farm Carabao eating grass.. 

  • Odette Bas

    I would like to implore Senator Miriam to include “ALL PLACES OF WORSHIP” at the top of her list in her Silent Mode Bill/Act.. Please! Please, dear Madam Senator.

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