GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/07 July) – Land Transportation Office (LTO) enforcers in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao have so far seized at least five illegally installed sirens or “wang-wangs” and 10 fog lights as part of its continuing campaign against their use by private motorists and some government officials and personnel in the region.
Lawyer Datubod Lauban, operations chief of LTO Region 12, said Wednesday they confiscated the sirens during the random inspections they conducted since last week on private and government-owned vehicles in the Cotabato City area.
He said their enforcers caught some private motorists in the act of using the sirens.
“Our campaign has been ongoing and we’ve spared no one so far. There will be no exemptions and letup in this campaign in compliance with the pronouncements of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III himself,” Lauban said.
Aside from Cotabato City, he said LTO enforcers have been conducting random inspections and patrols in several other key cities and municipalities in Region 12 in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 12.
Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapapawan, Tacurong and Cotabato.
On Tuesday, LTO enforcers here launched their campaign in various major streets, netting at least 10 illegally installed fog lights.
Ishmael Almanza, officer-in-charge of the LTO district office here, said they also confiscated at least one expired commemorative plate from a private motor vehicle.
“We did not find any siren or wang-wang here so far. In the past, the use of sirens by private motorists was very rare and it’s not much of a problem in the city,” he said.
But Almanza said they will continue their monitoring against the use of such prohibited devices, especially by some visiting politicians and other private individuals.
He explained that the use of sirens, bells, whistles, horns and other similar devices have specific regulations under Presidential Decree (PD) 96, issued in 1973 by then President Ferdinand Marcos.
PD 96 provides that the said gadgets or devices “may be attached to and use 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.”
For government officials, it says that only the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Supreme Court Chief Justice are entitled to use such devices.
“We are guided by these laws and we are mandated to strictly implement them,” Almanza added. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)