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.

  • andy bonifacio

    diversionary tactic to cover up the scandal on the MOOE involving all the senators 

  • dequis

    gawa ng law inday na bitay ang kaparusahan pag uupahan ang sariling building, at ang ipambabayad sa biniling groceries, sweldo ng katulong, pati pagkain ng aso, ang ipambabayad galing sa pork barrel.

  • juancrossofthe

    WTF ! ! !..why Filipinos are not intelligient enough and do not have manners and ettiquette now that you need this kid of LAW??… full of CRAPS>>>

  • calipso_2100

    Yes that is annoying but a law against it is too OA.  More really important issues out there than this.  Just my opinion.

  • zafirol

    Miriam should pass a law how to tackle an out of control behavior in the senate and be penalized by gagging.

  • joshmale2004

    This law may be applicable to movie theaters but not on concerts especially pop and rock concerts where even the performers would much like to be photographed or recorded while performing. Same with auditoriums especially on sports events. I don’t think this bill is worth passing at all.

  • ThudOthwacker

    A marshal is needed to monitor would be offender. No need for a legislation. Establish operators can file a case base on Article 153 of Revised Penal Code: Public Disorder.

    Geez, the constitutional wizard(Brenda) must have missed it. Deliberate or not, Santiago must come up a new issue to spin. Her expose on MOOE backfired. Her earlier 15 million pesos MOOE releases are not enough.

  • nieron

    I Think this law is for the refinement of each individual with regards to the appreciation of the ARTS. It is the MANNER the Proper ETHICS that one should display and observe during this events.

    Though this law is inapt to some because of the other big issues that the Philippines is experiencing but still…A LAW in favor for the ARTS that has been passed is better than having no Law at all. It should be refined though…

  • chris_t610

    I understand the need to penalize those inconsiderate folks into using their mobile devices inside the aforementioned places. But this should be studied very carefully before being passed into law like RA1075.

    Most of the offenders (especially in theater houses) are minors, so how can the law penalize these youngsters? There will be a contradiction one way or the other.

  • tilamsik

    LINISIN NYO ANG SENADO hindi mga petty things ang dapat nyong unahin

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