Lacson: Collective action vs ‘wang-wang’ needed to restore trust

Lacson: Collective action vs ‘wang-wang’ needed to restore trust

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — A collective implementation of the ban on “wang-wang” (vehicle sirens)
can be a key to restoring trust not only in government but also among
citizens, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Monday.

Lacson said it is not only the Philippine National Police but also the
private sector that should be responsible for keeping “wang-wang” off
the hands – and vehicles – of unauthorized users.

“No one wants to be stuck in traffic while heading for school or work,
much less see the so-called privileged few zips past them in cars with
wang-wangs blaring. In some cases, the passengers of the vehicles with
wang-wang are not even the government officials authorized to use such
items. But we can do something about it instead of feeling helpless,”
said Lacson, who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001.

He said the PNP should remain on the lookout for unauthorized users of
“wang-wang,” including ambulances that do not appear to be
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,” he said.

But he also said other agencies like the Department of Trade and
Industry can crackdown on shops selling “wang-wang,” including car
accessory havens like Banaue in Quezon City.

On the other hand, he said alert citizens – and netizens – can get
involved by reporting the unauthorized use of the 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,” he said.

Under Presidential Decree 96 in 1973, it is unlawful for a vehicle
owner to use sirens, bells, horns, whistles or similar gadgets “that
produce exceptionally loud or startling sound,” as well as blinkers
and “similar signalling or flashing devices.”

Such devices may be used only on motor vehicles designated 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 emphasized this
as a policy during his inaugural speech in 2010, while President
Rodrigo Duterte said he is maintaining the policy during a speech in
2018.

Lacson recalled that when he headed the PNP, he issued clear
instructions to strictly follow the decree. (AI/MTVN)

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