MANILA, Philippines — Acting on a clamor by some citizens, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has vowed to ramp up its crackdown on the unauthorized use of blinkers and emergency sirens, commonly referred to locally as “wang-wang,” in vehicles.
To start with, the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) has been ordered to be strict in apprehending vehicle owners using the prohibited gadgets, Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, the PNP director for operations, said on Wednesday.
“Right now, the HPG is conducting checkpoints. But in my capacity as the director of operations, I am also communicating with the local government units through our regional directors, provincial directors, and chiefs of police so they’ll know there’s a law about this and it needs to be followed,” De Leon said, speaking in a mix of Filipino and English, in an ambush interview in Camp Crame.
He reminded motorists who disregard the law that they could face six months of imprisonment and a fine of P600. The certificate of registration of their vehicle could also be revoked.
Aside from conducting checkpoints and issuing warnings, De Leon has also assembled a group to adopt strategies to discourage the sale and installation of these devices.
He stressed that shops selling and installing the gadgets without authorization could also be held responsible.
“They should sell them only to government entities,” he said.
The unauthorized use of the gadgets is banned under Presidential Decree 96, which was issued in 1973 by then-President Ferdinand Marcos, the father and namesake of the current chief executive.
The decree prohibits ordinary motorists from using devices “that produce exceptionally loud or startling sound” and “signaling or flashing devices.”
They can only be installed in vehicles for official use by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Land Transportation Commission, police and fire departments, and hospital ambulances.