Security guards. (Screengrab from PTV)

MANILA -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday warned mall managers and owners of security agencies that wearing of themed costumes by security guards is prohibited, ahead of the holiday season.

PNP–Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (SOSIA) assistant chief, Col. Sydney Villaflor, said one of the hazards of changing the uniform of a security officer is that criminals can imitate this style and use it to attack establishments.

The PNP official said in case of emergencies, the response of security guards might be restricted or limited because they are not easily identifiable.

Villaflor said security guards will not be able to perform their jobs well if they are wearing costumes.

'Yung pagsusuot ng iba’t ibang uniform ay posibleng samantalahin ng mga sindikato, ng iba’t ibang grupo na posibleng gumawa ng mga krimen sa loob ng mall at iba pang (Wearing of different kinds of uniforms can be exploited by syndicates and they can commit crimes inside malls and other) business establishments,” Villaflor told reporters.

Villaflor also warned that security officers caught wearing themed costumes will be fined with PHP10,000 for the first offense and PHP20,000 for the second offense.

Aside from the fines for each security guard, the agency handling them will also be fined PHP20,000 and will be subject to administrative investigation.

The security agency will also be at risk of having its permit to operate canceled in case of repeated violations.

The PNP-SOSIA regulates the operations of security agencies, including keeping in check all the security guards detailed at different establishments across the country.

Under Section 14 of Republic Act 5487 or the Private Security Agency Law, the “Chief of the Philippine Constabulary (now the PNP), through his duly authorized representative, shall prescribe the uniform or ornaments, equipment and paraphernalia to be worn by the security guards and watchmen throughout the Philippines.”

Last year, some security guards of a popular mall in Makati City were sanctioned with a hefty fine after the SOSIA caught them wearing Santa Claus costumes during an inspection. (PNA)