Implementing ban on ‘wang-wang’ key to public trust, Lacson tells gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — The government would do well to take a page off the book of the late President Benigno S. Aquino III by implementing the ban against “wang-wang.”
Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday said that the collective effort of enforcers as well as the public against the unauthorized use of “wang-wang” and such devices can be a “key to restoring trust” in government and among Filipino citizens.
Lacson said that the private sector and the Philippine National Police (PNP) should also be responsible for keeping “wang-wang” sirens — often taken as a symbol of abuse of power or privilege — from unauthorized users.
“No one wants to be stuck in traffic while heading for school or work, much less see the so-called privileged few zip past them in cars with wang-wangs blaring,” Lacson said in a statement.
“In some cases, the passengers of the vehicles with wang-wang are not even government officials authorized to use such items. But we can do something about it instead of feeling helpless,” the senator added.
Lacson, who formerly headed the PNP, said that the police force should remain on the lookout for unauthorized users of “wang-wang,” including ambulances that are not transporting patients to and from the hospitals.
“I just hope the PNP can sometimes randomly flag down such ambulances, especially if they cause traffic build-ups,” Lacson said.
Lacson likewise suggested that other agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry crackdown on car accessory shops that sell sirens as he also called on netizens to get involved by reporting unauthorized use of sirens when they see them.
“In this day and age of modern technology, all it takes is a photo or video of the violator for the appropriate authorities to take action. That said, the authorities need not wait for such reports to go viral before acting,” Lacson said.
Under the Presidential Decree 96 established in 1973, the use of sirens, bells, horns, whistles or similar gadgets “that produce exceptionally loud or startling sound,” as well as blinkers and “similar signaling or flashing devices,” are illegal for common vehicle owners.
The said devices may only be used on vehicles for official use by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Commission, police departments, fire departments, and hospital ambulances, according to the decree.
The late former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has made the indiscriminate use of blaring sirens and such devices a landmark policy in his inaugural speech in 2010, while President Rodrigo Duterte said in a speech in 2018 that he will maintain the policy. — Faith Yuen Wei Ragasa, Inquirer trainee
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